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Registration Confirmed After All!

Should have probably written this right away, but tried to finish the book faster this week, so I’m just getting around to it now, after finishing and reviewing that yesterday. The fact that the game no longer started since Sunday, when I’d have wanted to play a bit more after writing that post and saw I couldn’t, helped with that, at least, but now that I also managed to persuade myself to install this month’s Windows updates earlier today and rebooted, making the game work again, I’ll be getting back to it, since time’s running out if I want to finish it by the end of the year. Should at least have no problem with it no longer starting before then, though it will get choppy again much sooner. Interestingly, this time around it didn’t start shutting down when it switched from the turn of one AI wizard to another before no longer starting, and the difference is that in this scenario there’s a single AI enemy, the others being allies, so maybe that crash only happens when it switches between enemies.

On to the matter of that registration that I was so worried about and didn’t get any reply about in time, or even until now for that matter, Tuesday morning I just got the e-mail from ENDU to confirm my registration. Considering November 30 as a free day as well, that makes it on the seventh business day after paying, since I did that on November 29, even though the site says five working days. But as long as they confirmed it and I see my registration as confirmed when I check on the site as well, I won’t complain too much about the delay, even though it did mean waiting anxiously even longer than I thought I’ll have to, and obviously getting even more worried once that fifth working day passed and there was no word. Then again, as I already mentioned, there’s still no word from the organizers, but I guess it doesn’t matter anymore, and I did add another message to the support ticket, mentioning that I got the confirmation and that should be it for now.

While I’m at Tuesday, I was at the dentist at the time that e-mail was received. Woke up at 10 AM, since I was scheduled at 11 AM, but I just got there with dad and we were made to wait again, as I could only go in at about 11:45 AM… And ended up having the tartar removed, though I definitely wasn’t keen on that, since when I mentioned that small cavity she had mentioned last time, she said she wasn’t actually sure it was a cavity, and needs to clean the tartar to get a good look. She did also explain why the price was much higher than I expected that previous time, and eventually persuaded me to get the tartar removed then, saying she’ll be very gentle when I mentioned I had some pretty bad experiences with that. And she was indeed gentle, hardly bothering me at all, and once that was done she said there was no cavity there after all, so even though she again said the tooth behind the one that got fixed last time should be fixed again, I said I won’t be going again before the end of the year, and I’ll see about it next month. Only got out of there around 12:30 PM, so it took quite a while… She did give me an additional discount though, since the price for removing tartar is per tooth and she charged me for only 26.

Since I was saying that if I won’t need to pay anything more than what I already had for that registration, I’ll probably get myself something, went out to do just that Thursday, managing to leave at 3:50 PM. Wanted to be out before 4 PM, since there was another note that the water meters will be changed then, between 4 PM and 7 PM, and dad had talked to the administrator to tell him he likely won’t be back by 7 PM and they had arranged for the guy to come when he’ll get back, which he thought won’t be that much later, so it’d have been pretty messed up for me to be seen going out after 4 PM. There was still the matter of me coming back at 5:40 PM, but I looked around to make sure nobody could see me go in… And then pointlessly rushed to eat something, including the sweet thing I had bought, and wash what I needed for that, since I thought water would be off or, when I saw that it was still on, that it was going to get turned off soon, which didn’t seem to happen, or at least not for long, though it was as if it had been turned off before. And we were still left without the meters changed anyway, since dad ended up only being back around 10:30 PM.
When I went out, first had a look through the farmers’ market, but didn’t find anything interesting enough, so went to the Carrefour from that area next. Did consider a few different things to get, but eventually just got one cheap sweet thing, the rest of what I had left being spent on things I’d normally get anyway. Was left with just a little bit of money after grabbing those things and wandered around the store for a while, looking for something to get with them, but eventually decided to keep that amount, realizing it was just 0.01 RON less than the price of a pretzel from the supermarket across the road and thinking I’ll get one of those if I’ll happen to find a coin on the way. Ended up needing to find more than that when the change I got was rounded down, but didn’t find anything anyway, so it didn’t matter. That piece of cake was pretty good though, and the listed ingredients seemed surprisingly all right for something so cheap.

Otherwise, ran twice this week, Monday’s run being the first one over 48:30 since June 12. The time was 48:40, with sector times of 4:19, 5:05, 5:56, 4:31, 5:15, 6:01, 4:30, 5:15, 5:56 and 1:52, making for lap times of 15:20, 15:47 and 15:41. Gave it everything, sweated quite a lot, but that was all I could manage. Then again, started sweating early on, so shouldn’t have taken both t-shirts under my training shirt, even though that seemed like a good idea, considering the reported temperature of 3°C. The conditions weren’t bad otherwise though, with little wind and the few people and vehicles on the path possibly costing a bit of time but quite certainly less than the 11 seconds needed to stay under 48:30. Lap two was bad, especially in sector two, and then sector two of lap three was the same, and I couldn’t recover the time on the other sectors. Gave it everything starting in sector three of lap two, tried to sprint as much as I still could on sector three of lap three, felt myself just about getting runner’s high then, but it wasn’t enough. Then again, also felt like I was going to shit myself then, even though I had finally managed to take a crap before going out that day. The left knee was less of a problem though, but that meant managing it a lot, especially on that long left turn, which I tried to take wider and sort of leaning right, which definitely made me lose time.
The second run was yesterday, and at least I made up for Monday, the time being 48:13, with sector times of 4:07, 5:04, 5:55, 4:29, 5:04, 6:00, 4:31, 5:11, 6:00 and 1:52, making for lap times of 15:06, 15:33 and 15:42. Yes, that means a new sector one record, by quite some margin, the exact time I saw being 4:07.47. Did try to just give it everything all the way, not leaving reserves for later and just continuing with whatever I had left, and I obviously couldn’t keep up after that very fast start, but it was enough to avoid another poor time. It’s possible that I had just a bit more in me, but not much and there were a few gusts of wind to deal with as well. The path was mostly clear at least, though I probably still lost a couple of seconds because of others, and even though the reported temperature was a bit lower, 2°C or maybe even 1°C by the time I finished, I just had one t-shirt under the training shirt, and that was the right choice. Got just a bit worried close to the end of lap three, when I saw a couple with four little dogs, one of them off the leash and running towards me and barking, which made at least one of the others try to get to me as well as I ran past, but nothing else happened. The knee was mostly fine too, warning me a few times but not being much of a problem even then, yet that was probably still because I was very careful with it, especially on that long left turn, where I may be losing several seconds each lap because of this. On the other hand, found a pretty large patch of dead skin, pretty thick too, to peel away on my right heel when I showered, which is odd, since I didn’t feel anything there…

Written by Cavalary on December 15, 2018 at 7:33 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Snow in the Year of the Dragon

Before reading this, meant to write a full review intended to somewhat cover the entire series, also thinking this was the end of it. But… No. And it’s not the end anyway, though most of the time I sure hoped it would be, just to get it over with. Yes, I’d say the writing itself remains the strongest point, not counting a number of typos, but even that seems less notable than before. It’s possible that I disliked the content too much to care though, since for the first three quarters of the book, the only parts I thought were written about as well as I’ve gotten to expect from the author were Sireth and Ursa’s sections, which were also the only ones I didn’t exactly dislike in terms of content.
Sadly, even those sections consisted of court intrigue, scheming and what I tend to call human filth, yet this kind of filth was much more present everywhere else and there’s little that could save those other sections. Admittedly, it’s a subjective point of view, my first complaint being the obviously postapocalyptic setting, with the typical elements of the genre much more present than before, yet even Shar and Setse’s sections left me cold, and in general I didn’t get much of a feeling of adventure, sense of exploration, reasons to care for the characters, their relationships and development. All of that should be present, considering the events, but I just didn’t feel it anymore.
Things do quite suddenly seem to click into place nearly three quarters of the way in, even if that’s still a postapocalyptic place that I remain very much put off by, and it is quite a ride for a while, but it still didn’t quite strike me as truly meeting even the standards set by the previous books, and it’s definitely not enough to change the impression left by the rest. It may be just me, of course, but I was searching for what I got to expect to like from the author and can say I found only traces of it here.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on December 14, 2018 at 11:19 PM in Books | 0 Comments

New Finds – XIII

I included eight bands in the previous post in this series, so was thinking I had a real chance to get to a total of 15 this year even if I won’t manage three posts, but that’s not going to happen. In fact, considered just including four in this one, since I’m in a hurry and just had the first three in mind and the fourth caught my eye rather quickly after glancing through a few names on my list, since I’ve been listening to a couple of their songs a fair bit relatively recently, but hadn’t yet checked that previous post at the time, so spent some more time looking for something else and decided to just go with one with a potential connection with the fourth, even though neither should really be in these posts. If I’d have remembered having eight in that previous post, I’d have definitely stopped at four in this one, making for a total of 12, 13 bothering me a bit. But now that I selected it, might as well…

The most recent band I stumbled into is Silent Tales, which seems to have recently returned to activity after a long break, at least in terms of releases, since I see albums in 2003, 2006 and 2018, with this latest one also being posted on their YouTube channel, the only other actual song posted there being Raven Circle, from the same album. Other than that, there’s an instrumental posted in 2013 that doesn’t seem to be from any album and could find one more, from their first album, but that seems to be it, so no idea what their older stuff really sounded like. But this recent album isn’t bad at least, and you can just listen to all of it and pick what you like, if anything. Personally find at least Thought and the Memory, Eternal River and When the Star Falls to be quite good.

Next is Dead of Night, a band I had apparently first stumbled into quite a few years ago, ending up one of the hundreds thrown on the list and probably never listened to again, but a post reminded me of them recently and I found that they split up, so I’m not sure how right it is to include them here, but I will nevertheless. You can even download a number of their songs by following the link in a post made shortly after they split up, and I’m quite sure the original version of The Highwayman was the song that initially made me consider them interesting, and despite being one of their oldest this was also the one I saw posted again recently. Still, with those free downloads not including anything from their last album, I guess I should pick something to share from that one too, and after a quick glance through what’s readily available on their YouTube channel, guess I’ll go with For I Am Music. Quite a different sound though, and I care for it much less than I do about their earlier stuff, especially when it comes to the instrumental bits.

And the third band I originally had in mind for this post is Solborn, and you can just listen to their album, and at the time I’m writing this seven of the nine tracks are on their YouTube channel too. If the two bands listed above are the most recent I stumbled into that seemed in some way interesting and the older find that I was most recently reminded of, I can say that this is the most recent find that rather impressed me. The sound quality and mixing could be better, but most songs are good, though they may take a while to actually get going, and I’ll point that out by actually suggesting Beast of Oblivion, which includes growls, and say that I liked it overall in spite of that. Other than that, take your pick, but I guess my second one will be the one non-instrumental song that’s not yet on their YouTube channel, Pale Blue.

Next would be a, shall we say, middleweight, Beast in Black. One bad consequence of that is that they have their songs posted on Deezer, which requires logging on in order to listen, but at least they are somewhere. The band was apparently created by the guy kicked out of Battle Beast, who sure seems to have landed on his feet. Male-fronted bands are unusual in these posts of mine, and this isn’t even the sort of sound I’d be tempted to say I like even with male vocals, but found myself quite stuck on Blind and Frozen and Ghost in the Rain for a while. And that should be enough, but since they did just recently release a new song, which should be from their next album, I’ll link to Sweet True Lies as well, to have songs from different albums here.

And the fifth band will be The Dark Element, whose vocalist you may remember was in Nightwish. And now that I looked it up, I see that the band is actually made up of her and most of a supergroup called Cain’s Offering. Still say her voice doesn’t quite fit the genre, but for anyone interested, they do seem to have managed to get something interesting enough out of it. I’ll just pick from the official uploads, even though other songs may be better, so I’ll link to the two videos released at the moment, The Ghost and the Reaper and My Sweet Mystery. Then again, the lyric video for Someone You Used to Know also claims to be official, despite being on a different channel, and I already broke the previous rule of two songs, if at all possible from two different albums, more than once in this post, so I’ll add this too, because it’s a different sort of song, and I’d say it suits her better.

Written by Cavalary on December 9, 2018 at 11:10 PM in Music | 0 Comments

Water Issues, No Solution to the Payment Problem, Poor Run, Last Shadow Magic Scenario

Did mean to write this yesterday, but between sleeping so little, helping dad at least temporarily fix the new exhaust hood in its place and playing some more Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, couldn’t manage it. Woke up very early, heard dad around, likely fell back to sleep for a bit, then woke up again around 8:30 AM and getting back to sleep didn’t seem likely. Probably did catch a few short naps over the next three hours or so, but with all the drilling from outside and the various other noises from above, I’m not even sure whether what I remember are dreams or just me imagining things, and when I finally gave up and got up I was feeling probably more exhausted than when I first woke up. Then tried to catch another nap in the evening, after helping dad and cleaning up a bit in the kitchen, but the noise he was making, in the kitchen or talking on the phone, kept waking me up, so I probably didn’t even get one more hour, put together…

Today somebody was supposed to come change the water meters, and water was supposed to be off in the building between 9 AM and 4 PM as a result, but apparently the guy didn’t show up, dad “intercepting” me when I got up to pee to tell me that, and point out that he woke up at 8 AM because of it and has to work tonight, and also saved water in large pots, on top of the three bottles we still had since Wednesday, only learning a bit before I woke up then, which was after 12 PM, that it was all for nothing. I went back to bed after that, waking up some two hours later, after dreaming that the guy did come after all and dad called me over quickly just as I was trying to change, so I just pulled my pajamas back on in a hurry to avoid leaving my room naked. But, of course, nobody was here then, dad also having to leave earlier, so I could make something to eat, check the usual stuff on-line and then try to get myself to finally write this. Cold water was off for a little while just as I was finishing in the kitchen, and then both hot and cold water had low pressure when I went to wash the dishes, after eating in my room, but I’m not sure what that was about, and it seems all right now.

Since I mentioned Wednesday, water was off then as well, I guess for the building’s meters to be changed and possibly for the system to allow reading the new ones remotely to be installed, no idea how that works. I had made tea Tuesday night and saved one bottle of water, and dad saved some more in the morning, but with it coming back a bit after 2 PM, I just used a little bit to wash my hands after peeing once and that was it, so we still had the rest now and I thought it was more than enough, but he saved a lot more and it was all for nothing anyway. Did wake up around 8:30 AM then, so washed some grapes while I still could and took them to my room, trying to get back to bed after that but failing to get back to sleep, so finally getting up a bit before 10 AM and mostly just playing more Shadow Magic. Also saw my phone off when I tried to check the time when I first woke up and remembered that the battery was getting low before and that I thought it odd when it was showing as being half full again the day before, but I shrugged it off and left it like that. Let’s see what it’ll do next, to see whether that was an odd momentary issue or it has some problem with displaying the correct charge.
Another issue experienced Wednesday was that I found myself logged out of Facebook and couldn’t log back on for a few hours, getting an error when I tried. Sorted itself out though, and when I did log back on it didn’t show up as a new login, so guess it was some odd glitch. What was much more of a problem that day, on the other hand, had to do with the water after all, but with the fact that hot water was off the entire day. It didn’t affect me too much that heating was off as well, but washing a sinkful of dishes, plus the cabbage and onion I ate that night, in ice cold water sure sucked. Couldn’t get the cold out of my body after that…

This week’s run was Tuesday. Woke up quite a few times that morning, but managed to get back to sleep, feeling at ease since I had an alarm set for 2 PM. When I woke up again just after 1 PM, meant to just rest a bit more, but actually think I drifted off again for a little bit, seeing 1:29 PM when I looked again and finally getting up at 1:43 PM. Ate somewhat differently and more than normal before a run, still couldn’t poop even though it felt I was about to after eating, and just managed to get out at 3:40 PM, which was the latest time I had planned, though the light was still usable at the end. The conditions weren’t bad though, with little wind and a reported temperature of 2°C, which was manageable quite fine with two t-shirts and the training shirt on. It does probably require energy to warm the air breathed in and the runny nose caused by the temperature is also a problem, but it still seems that it was way too hard to do a time that was too poor.
The time was 48:29, this being the worst for ten kilometers since June 12 and requiring everything to just, barely, stay under 48:30. Sector times were 4:14, 5:10, 5:52, 4:34, 5:02, 6:00, 4:41, 5:09, 6:00 and 1:47, making for lap times of 15:16, 15:36 and 15:50. That first sector was the fourth 4:14 I managed, the exact time I saw being 4:14.85, yet I again thought I was actually rather slow and also lost a bit of time as I needed to squeeze around a truck and some workers just after the bridge, so without that issue it could have marked the first time I got under 4:14. But obviously couldn’t keep that up in the least, with a rather slow sector two and times getting bad after that, with the exception of sector two of lap two. My left knee started acting up from the first lap, on a long left turn that’s on sector three, but then it seemed mostly fine until I reached that area again on lap two, after which it required more management, though overall it was somewhat less of a problem than it’s been lately. After that really bad sector one of lap three, I had to give it everything on the next two sectors and the times were still rather poor, leaving me needing to gain a fair bit on that final sector, so after getting myself up the stairs I pushed past the normal limits, allowing myself to breathe through my mouth most of the time, the runny nose making it hard to breathe through one nostril anyway.
Finally took a bath that evening, after not washing for five days, and I think I hadn’t washed my hair in eight days, though I’m not absolutely certain. Also made salad again Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night after not making any for four days before that, though I again didn’t make any since Wednesday and don’t want to do so tonight either, still meaning to save every little bit I can until I’ll know exactly how things stand with that payment. Was quite out cold until Monday evening because of that, but the fact that I’m not quite in that state since then doesn’t mean anything other than that I “suspended” it until I’ll know more… Just hope I won’t crash again before next Tuesday, since I asked dad to change the appointment I had at the dentist and he moved it then, after it was for this Tuesday at first.

Didn’t really mean to write more about the payment issue in this post, leaving it for when I’ll finally know more, but since I mentioned it anyway, and the fact that I was quite out cold until then because of it, I’ll also mention that I even called the organizers Monday, and that didn’t help either. Woke up early the first time, checked whether I had any reply from them, checked again when I woke up again later, didn’t want to actually get up but couldn’t get back to bed either, kept wondering what to do, sent another message on Facebook, which was “seen” but still got me no reply… Just after 4 PM, sent a support message to ENDU as well, but didn’t even get a confirmation that it was received, which was also the case when I had sent another message a while back, for a small issue after creating my account. Worse, trying to log on to their support site failed, trying to create a new account resulted in it saying the e-mail is already in use, but when trying to recover my password, after entering the e-mail address, it said I was not authorized on that page and to contact a representative, so it’s all up in the air and the order remains incomplete.
After sending that message to ENDU, I went to the toilet and dad “intercepted” me, sounding pissed and saying the guy reading the meters on the heaters had been at the door and he couldn’t let him in because of me being like that, that being the first communication between us since I had told him what had happened with the payment. I somehow managed to make myself go to him in the living room after that, meaning to ask for a phone, since I couldn’t call off mine, but he just insisted that I need to read those meters so he can at least leave a note in the door if the guy will return, as that was supposedly the “emergency” then, so I had to first do that, then sit through the “talk” as he made me feel even worse by saying what I was and am supposed to do regarding this issue, and only then finally got to use one of his phones, though at least he was making some other food then and I grabbed some too, and made tea, after calling them, which I did just before 5 PM. Not that it helped in any way, as the woman who answered said she has no access to the support tickets, but that they will reply, just repeating that when I pointed out that I paid what the bank told me to, after showing them the e-mail I received, and there’s nothing else I can do about it anymore. And that’s how the situation remained, since I still have no reply even now, even though the five working days during which a registration with payment made through wire transfer should be confirmed ended yesterday.

Otherwise, still didn’t read anything, so really need to do that next week, but since Shadow Magic still starts I kept playing, finishing the third Syron scenario Saturday night, at 12:30 AM, so in the first minutes of December 2. That’s not the last one though, one final scenario remaining, and after I made a bad starting skill choice I immediately surrendered and restarted, but then had to restart again on Monday, since I was just getting crushed and was likely to soon lose anyway, and I had worked out better tactics, which made a huge difference. The fact that the enemy seemed more wary after that restart did help though, and it even left the Halfling ally alive for a long time, defeating the Dark Elf one first, and it has mostly left the Elf and Syron ones alone so far, and I’m on turn 125.
There are still bad moments, lost two cities quickly when the defenders of one just surrendered, this automatic surrender being a huge problem of this game, and those of the other one were killed trying to hold that first one, after rushing out and briefly regaining it, but managed to recover from that, even though it required rushing my heroes back underground after they had just finally managed to get to the surface, so I’m still basically just surviving. Did survive attempts at overwhelming attacks though, on three cities more or less at once, then three big ones on a single city, one after the other, more than a full party of lords plus two bone dragons… But now I’m getting teleportation gates everywhere and changing my defenders again, using a mix of powerful units from the different races, since I migrated my cities to all the good ones, to have all options available. Those will cost a fair bit to maintain, but the mixes I had so far risked surrendering when faced with such overwhelming forces, and there were losses too, very small compared to the enemy’s but it seems to just send ever greater armies every other turn or so while I needed more than that to recover even from losing a couple of units.
Looks like it’ll take a very long time to win this, since I’m still just defending, just surviving, but I should be getting good enough at that to finally allow myself to push forward at some point, and I hope that’ll be in time to allow me not just to finish the game this year, but to do so in between reading the two books I plan to also read this month… And I should be writing another “New Finds” post too, since I just recently realized I only posted one this year so far. Actually, I’d like to do that tomorrow, since I definitely need to write this week’s second post anyway, but I’m not sure whether I’ll manage it, so I may end up just throwing something on here quickly, just to be able to say there were two posts. In fact, that was something I had in mind when I didn’t initially mean to include the part about that payment here, to have something to easily write about tomorrow too, but now I guess that option is no longer available…

One thing I could still leave for later, but won’t, is an oddity on December 6, when I now see Google Analytics reporting no visits. That wouldn’t be odd in itself, in fact stranger being the fact that this was the first day with no visits after those four in less than two weeks, the last three of them in less than one week, but lately there have been quite a lot of spam visits, or “visits”, since they’re actually fake, and on that day I have nothing in the unfiltered view either, which makes me think that it may be a case of data loss. If I’d remember things well, I could perhaps even be sure of that, but Thursday night I remember it getting very late without me checking and can’t recall whether I did check just before going to bed or forgot. If I did check, I’d have definitely noticed it then, and I didn’t, only noticing that lack of visits yesterday, but since I’m not sure, I can’t be sure that something was lost either. Do seem to remember having already seen something on that date Wednesday night, but not sure which view that was in and whether it was just some spam or not, since some spam “visits” are cleared out automatically even from unfiltered views after a while and therefore having those vanish wouldn’t be a surprise. But unless something will show up again, which I guess is unlikely by now, I guess I’ll list it as another day with no visits.

Written by Cavalary on December 8, 2018 at 10:36 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Likely Losing the Money Paid for the 2019 Half Marathon Registration

With the early bird registration for next year’s half marathon opening awfully early and ending yesterday, I wanted to take advantage of the offer. Not that I was certain that I actually wanted to enter for quite a while, thinking that the only reason to do so anymore would be to aim to get under 1:45 and the issues with my legs making that even more unlikely than it would have been on its own, so I at least wanted to go to a doctor and know how I stand, but that didn’t happen yet and I just had to go for it. Should have happened, since dad had gotten the name and number of the leg doctor from the clinic our family doctor also works at, but since he was away most of last week, he said he’ll call him to schedule an appointment after he’ll get back, then Monday he forgot about it and Tuesday he said he couldn’t find his number anymore, and he still hadn’t found it Thursday, so I was out of time and had to just register and hope I’ll be fine by then, somehow.
Now I had told him, a month or so ago when we discussed it, that the registration was now done through ENDU and the payment was in Euros, but apparently that last part went right by him when he said he now has a card that can handle such payments, so it’ll be fine, because when I told him again now he said he can’t pay in anything but RON, he clearly remembers being asked about payments in other currencies and refusing the option. So we had a tense “conversation”, with him doing what he usually does, being aggressive and just repeating something until the other gives in, in this case calling the payment processor suspicious for not allowing regular payments from here by any method, and also first telling me he wanted to see all payment options, then stopping me from canceling the one already selected so it won’t mess something up. And, of course, I countered his aggressivity with mine and went through the options, getting back to wire transfer after he left, since it was the only one possible, the account being the one of the group from here that organizes the event, so not being an international transfer, even though the payment was still supposed to be in Euros. The thing is that the payment, if done through this method, was simply listed as 20.00 EUR, while for any other method it was 21.95 EUR, with the 1.95 EUR being fees.
Either way, I left that method selected and had already sent him the information, so he printed it out and took it with him when he went for a massage, but then called me to say he won’t reach the bank he has that card at that day, which also means not until Monday, since yesterday was a free day here as well, so no chance to enable, perhaps temporarily, the option to pay in foreign currencies and make that payment by card after all. And I guess doing the wire transfer then was quite out of the question, since he’d have had to reach a branch of their bank and, while quite a few are open later, those’d all be out of his way. The thing is that he could have still made that wire transfer yesterday, he even was at Auchan just a bit before I got back there and that’s where that branch is, that being one of those that were open yesterday as well, but I only saw that when I got there Thursday evening, after he had told me that he had already been told by them that they’ll be closed Friday, missing the fact that the notification didn’t apply to branches at hypermarkets or malls.
Not knowing that and being left with no other options, I shaved and waited for him to get back, then let him know I’ll go to their branch at Auchan before it closes, grabbed the printed information from him since he already had it, and ran off, fortunately the free bus getting here right on time, at 7:15 PM, though that did mean I waited for a while, since I was at the stop at 7:08 PM, in case it’ll be early. Had also taken the metro card to rush to the one at Cora if I’ll be too late, since that closes at 9 PM while the one at Auchan at 8 PM, but I was somehow the only person on that free bus that time around and the driver rather rushed, so I was waiting in line quite quickly and at 7:40 PM it was already my turn. That was where the things that worked ended though…
The first issue was that, when I asked to be told how much I’ll actually need to pay, in RON, I was told I’ll first need to buy Euros and then pay with that, and their exchange rate was 4.725 RON / EUR, while the official one was 4.656 and the three other places offering exchanges there, including the one right next to them, displayed a rate of 4.68, so I could have saved a little bit if I’d have exchanged the money first, if I’d have known that was needed. But that was a tiny issue, the next being some confusion for the cashier, who was probably new and at first asked me for a 5 RON fee on top of the amount due, which seemed very fine, being even lower than the 1.95 EUR which would have been added by the site for any other payment method. However, after exchanging the money, when she was actually making the transfer, she asked the other cashier what to do, they discussed it for a while, I heard something about a 3 EUR fee but that the payer isn’t concerned with that, and it all ended with her telling the other one: “Well, tell me; how was I supposed to know? Now I have to give him the money back.” And she did just that, returning the 5 RON and saying I pay no fee, which seemed even nicer.
Well, when things seem too good to be true, they usually are, and after it was all done and she handed me the receipt, she pointed out that a 3 EUR fee was applied, but paid by those I transferred the money to, so they actually received 17, but telling me that they should have clearly specified if I was required to cover it myself, as these fees are for businesses the money are paid to and they’re aware of them, so if the e-mail said 20 EUR, 20 EUR should normally be what I need to pay. Other than what I happened to catch from their conversation, they didn’t make me aware of that fee before completing the transfer, so no way to change things before it was completed, though yesterday I was told it could have been voided if I’d have said so on the spot and they could have changed it, adding the 3 EUR, if I’d have demanded it specifically. The thing is that, after wandering off and going inside Auchan at first, I did think that I really should demand that, or at least that it would make sense for the fee to be added to this as it is for the other methods as well, but the transaction was finished at 7:49 PM and by the time I rushed back I slammed into a locked door, seeing that it was exactly 8 PM when I checked the time.
Meant to leave after that, nothing else to do, but saw none of the buses that’d take me back here waiting to leave, and even though there was some time until the next one was supposed to come, I wondered if it hadn’t left early, since the one that drove me there had gone right to the station and then left with the next people as soon as I stepped off, even though it was quite a while before it was supposed to leave again. So I went back to Auchan and looked for bread, finding none in one place and just one bag left of another kind I was looking at, but enough of the other kind, with bags not torn, to cover this next period. There was an employee restocking the entire bread area, but she was moving slowly, apparently wasn’t going to get any more of the first kind out and the other two kinds were rather at the end of her list, so she hadn’t even gotten to them by the time I headed to the checkout, in time to catch the next free bus, so I just grabbed five of that other kind… Or did so on my second attempt, because when I was looking at them the first time some guy grabbed a bag of hot dog buns, which were also in that area, loudly announcing that it was the best kind of bread and asking whether I agreed and whether I recommended it, so I ran away and probably rather shut down for a while, since when I found myself back there it was already 8:30 PM and I can’t say I did much of anything in between.
Returning to the payment, the thing is that I had asked the organizers for some details before leaving, first sending a message on their Facebook page, then sending an e-mail after being told to do so, but that message to tell me to send an e-mail was the only reply I got so far. Even added another message to the support ticket opened after getting back, then one more after I got back yesterday, and also sent another message on Facebook before leaving yesterday, but there were no replies, even though the message sent on Facebook was apparently seen. So I thought I had screwed myself, not even having any chance to fix things anymore, and was quite out cold. Less so than I am now, though…

Still, I did have another chance to fix things, since those branches of this bank that are in hypermarkets or malls were open yesterday as well, even if they closed earlier than they normally would, and I had seen that posted on the door when I got there, so could have just turned back Thursday and asked dad to go there yesterday anyway, even more so since he went to Auchan then anyway, not that I knew that then. But as it was, I just pretty much shut down and decided to get right back there the next day myself and see what could still be done, first hoping I’ll get a reply to either confirm that the payment was fine like that or to clearly say that it wasn’t, then going to ask those at the bank again when I failed to find any reply from the organizers.
Meant to take the free bus again, but was out five minutes early and waited for 12 minutes without it coming, so just walked almost all the way, seeing one bus get to the last stop before the destination just as I was getting there as well and, oddly enough, stopping because a few people were getting off there, so I ran in and used it for that final stop as well. Then first went to all three exchange offices that are there, asking for just three Euros, thinking I’ll get them at the better rate, one even listing 4.675 RON / EUR then, and insist on just sending that much, having any fee waived for this second transfer since it wasn’t my fault it was needed. However, that was the second thing that didn’t work as expected, since all said they didn’t have Euro coins, only being able to give bills, so starting at five EUR.
With nothing else to do, got to the bank, seeing just one cashier and not recognizing her as the one who had given the one who had worked with me the information about fees until she told me that she remembered me because she was there. The other one was also there, but in the back room, only coming out around the end of the conversation I had with her coworker and not saying anything, though her coworker told her who I was and why I had returned. And a conversation was all I got, since my determination to get them to remove that fee, even asking to see a manager or whoever I’d need to talk to, obviously evaporated as soon as I actually had to say anything, and the cashier repeated that firms should know those fees and the e-mail should have specified 23 EUR if I’d have had to cover the fee too, and either way, that transaction could have been voided if I’d have said so on the spot, but now it’s another day and it’d have to be a new transaction to cover the difference, so I’d need to pay 6 EUR to send that, which she agreed was messed up.
I did ask whether there was any way to have that fee waived a few times, but she said it can’t happen, because they’re checked a lot and it’ll be quickly noticed and they’d need to pay it themselves, which isn’t fair because her coworker did exactly what she was supposed to do. She also agreed that it wasn’t my fault either, also saying that people making such payments may not even know of such fees and it’s not their business to know about them, but said she couldn’t do anything and told me to contact the organizers, send them a picture of the receipt as proof that I sent 20 EUR, and see what they say. Also, when I said the offer expired that day and I may be left with the money spent, since there are no refunds, but also that the e-mail stated I had two business to pay, she said that, even if some branches are open, Friday wasn’t a business day and Saturday and Sunday definitely won’t be, so if I absolutely must cover the difference I should still be able to do so Monday, if not also even Tuesday, and should at least think it over until then. But, of course, if those I’m making the payment to won’t see it that way, the fact that she said so won’t help me any more than the fact that she said 20 EUR should be all I had to pay in the first place.
When I left, I was just in time to see the free bus I needed drive past the gate, so I had to stay at least a little longer and could have still turned back and paid the 6 EUR, perhaps after exchanging five at one of the other offices just to spite the bank, wasting 3 EUR but making sure I was covered, and maybe if it wasn’t needed I’d have gotten a voucher for those 3 EUR paid above the fee, to use next time. But I didn’t, instead waiting for the buses coming ten minutes later and deciding to take one instead of the other, thinking I’ll get back faster that way, only to see the other one drive past me before I got to the stop where I’d have gotten off it. But I wasn’t “processing” much of anything anymore at that point, just thinking that I could have just risked losing at most 6 EUR, and probably just three, but instead of that I risk losing all 20, since they clearly say there are no refunds and, in fact, in case of wire transfers specify again that anything paid that way for an order that’s not completed will not be returned, so unless it really is fine the way I did it, I’m fucked.
Didn’t want to tell dad what happened, just said first, Thursday, that we’d both get angry, then that I berate myself enough when he asked again last evening, but last night he insisted on e-mail, from work, starting to guess and guessing wrong and starting to offer other ideas that scared and annoyed me even worse, so I eventually told him, saying that from then on I won’t be checking my e-mail or reading any notes he’ll leave here, and will be running and hiding from him around the apartment so we won’t talk in any way. And also haven’t made salad for the past two nights, won’t tonight either, didn’t make the other thing I had originally planned to make last night either, and that’s how it’ll be from now on, because I need to recover this loss and I already planned to get as little as possible from now on and save all I can, so until I’ll know how things stand I must assume I lost everything and will need months to recover it under these circumstances, while if I’ll be told I need to pay that remaining amount and can do so Monday, and will therefore need to pay 6 EUR then, I’ll need to pretty much get nothing else over these next two weeks to recover that 3 EUR loss. If somehow it’ll be fine the way I did it, on the other hand, maybe I’ll get myself something sweet or who knows what… But I doubt that will be the case…

As for today, stayed in bed until 4:20 PM, went to the toilet once during that time, while dad was away, then did rush to the toilet after getting up but he went out again while I was still there, so could make tea and grab something to eat too, then third time to the toilet while he was showering, fourth time while he was making something in the kitchen and he stayed there… Otherwise, checked a guide to figure out what I actually had to do to win that final Syron scenario on Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, since the objectives aren’t clear enough and I had already defeated the enemies, so guess I’ll get that done now, though I don’t know whether I’ll manage it tonight or tomorrow. There is one more scenario after that though, and since it’s already choppy again, doubt I’ll manage to finish that as well before it’ll no longer start, so will have to rush to do it after the next reboot, probably after this month’s updates, if I want to finish, and review, another game by the end of the year. And I have to read two more books this month too, if I want to get to 12 actual books read this year as well, so should get on that too… Just hope there won’t be any issues with the computer at least, though I’m noticing a few double spaces again, including one as I was writing this post. Can’t quite be sure I’m not actually pressing twice by accident though, at least not yet, so I’ll wait and see, and either way this won’t stop me from finishing the game or reading. It’d be really frustrating though…

Written by Cavalary on December 1, 2018 at 10:37 PM in Personal | 0 Comments