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Another Game from the Doc, Lost Cookies and Another Sector Record

Finally sprayed in my room Thursday and Friday, but the books are still on the floor and the boxes under and around the desk, so I can’t even sit here properly, and since I want to throw something here quickly to avoid another Sunday update, I’ll just stop Wednesday for now. The one exception I’ll make is to mention that last evening I managed to post the quick review for the book I had finished the previous evening, again in both Romanian and English in the version on Goodreads, just before midnight, and then immediately after midnight I checked the GOG.com forum and saw that I had won another game, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, from the same guy who does these massive giveaways. Meant to not enter this one, feeling embarrassed enough over all I had won from him so far, which I listed last time, but since I ended up posting in the thread anyway, decided to just enter for this one game, and then for one more when he added it to the list, and I was again one of the winners. If I counted correctly, there were 27 entries for this game and four copies, so it was quite popular, though I don’t know in which order the winners were selected, since he says he tends to start with the games he considers most popular and go down from there, and therefore how many of the others had already won something before then. But it would appear that I was the first drawn for it anyway. Also saw that I had received the code at 5:50 PM, but since it was after midnight when I redeemed it, I’ll consider it as obtained on June 15.

Speaking of that forum, something happened as I got on-line Monday, opening it right after I had the antivirus update and finding myself signed out. I was opening topics in new tabs, the first two, opened while it was still downloading the updates, were normal, but then it started installing the updates and I found myself signed out in the next ones opened. At first it somehow still remembered that I’m using the light theme, but then I guess something happened to that cookie as well and it reverted to the default dark theme. And since, while the old parts of the site, including the forums, still work, and more recently even some game pages started working again, signing on GOG.com remains completely impossible in Internet Explorer, I now have to open Vivaldi whenever I go there and not just when I want to check the front page or a game page that still doesn’t work.
For that reason, though nothing else seemed affected, Wednesday evening I tried to restore the cookies from last month’s backup, by first looking up how you can get individual files from such a backup, then simply copying those old ones in the cookie folder, after moving the existing ones away. Yes, that means I simply copied the current cookie files elsewhere instead of using the export function, forgetting it exists despite having been reminded of it as I was looking up other options… And since simply copying the old files made IE act as if cookies had been cleared and it maintained that behavior after I copied the current ones back, I actually had to clear the cookies and sign back on everywhere that evening, which was quite a pain, and some of the ads I’ve been getting since then are annoying too. Also, wonder if something else broke in the process…

Since I just took a break to do what actually were yesterday’s squats, since I didn’t do any then, should also mention that I only timed them Sunday and Monday, the time being 2:35 and 2:31, respectively. But the more important bit when it comes to being active was Wednesday’s run, when the time was 48:23, with sector times of 4:20, 4:32, 6:06, 4:30, 5:04, 5:58, 4:34, 5:14, 6:11 and 1:54, making for lap times of 14:58, 15:32 and 15:59. The exact times I saw were 48:23.43, with sector times of 4:20.62, 4:31.47, 6:06.46, 4:29.59, 5:04.08, 5:58.09, 4:34.56, 5:13.26, 6:11.20 and 1:54.10, making for lap times of 14:58.55, 15:31.76 and 15:59.02. Wanted to push on the first lap’s second sector, to have a proper new record for it and also be absolutely certain of it, so I did that and managed to beat last week’s by ten seconds. Considering the exact time, it was actually close to 11 seconds, and if I’d have stopped the stopwatch a tenth earlier I’d have been able to list it as such, but as it is, I’ll have to make do with this and know that I could still do at least a little bit better, since I went around a few people and also didn’t quite choose the shortest way under the bridge, at the end.
Wanted to go out early, seeing a high of 31°C, but after eating a salad with tomatoes in it at night, I first woke up to pee at 7 AM, which was too early. Woke up again at 10:05 AM, but waited for dad to leave first, and was eventually leaving at 11:45 AM, starting to run exactly at noon. It was indeed rather hot, sunny, and the wind was a bit of an issue too. I guess it also helped a bit with the cooling, but it remained an issue in a few areas. But, of course, the main problem was pushing so hard so soon, which left me needing to struggle to finish. I guess I had a little bit of help in the form of someone to chase for part of sector two of lap two, but then I maintained that pace for the next sector as well and in general I stuck to my targets almost perfectly, having aimed for 15 minutes for the first lap, 15:30 for the second and 16 for the third. Did rather hope for a faster sector three of lap three and pretty much the same total time as last week, but that didn’t work out.

On the way to the park and back, saw how the mayor is completing the destruction of a good part of the green spaces on either side of that street, as part of his campaign to do so all over the Sector, creating parking spaces where the sidewalks used to be and new sidewalks, paved with the same pink stone he’s so fond of, where the gardens in front of buildings used to be. The trees are left standing, but encased like that and with who knows how much damage to the roots, they don’t tend to last long once this is done, and everything else in the part of those gardens that ends up being paved is obviously gone. This area had actually escaped for quite some time, but I guess it was only a matter of time, especially after they had started on one side and reached a certain point. Hardly anything will be left of this Sector’s greenery, at least when it comes to the more or less natural areas, mature trees and these gardens, and the fucker still brags about this being the greenest Sector and even the greenest urban area in Romania!

After coming back from the run, grabbed something to eat, made another tea, showered and went back out just after 3:05 PM, heading for Arcul de Triumf and entering it around 3:50 PM. After having been unable to visit it back in April and then seeing that it remained open on the same terms, with a book as the “entrance fee”, until June 15, I kept saying I’ll go and hadn’t until then, so it was pretty much my last chance, considering that I had stuff to do the following days.
Interestingly, though I obviously took a book with me to donate, along with the one I was reading, nobody was at the entrance when I entered, right after two young women, so I just walked right in. The three of us were the only ones there at the time, and it’s a good thing they came when they did because it’d have felt awfully weird to be there all alone. Unfortunately, when I got to the top and saw the view, I realized I really should have taken the camera and didn’t. Had told myself to get it but completely forgot when I went out of my room, so I just had my phone to work with and that didn’t do such a view justice. Still, did what I could, finished looking at what was inside as well, then went back out… Only to see that someone was at the entrance then, but I wasn’t about to go to her and ask whether I should give her the book now that I was already out, so I had a good look all around the place too and then left, along with the two women, who were right behind me. Got back at 4:55 PM, with a chapter and a bit of the book read on the metro, on the way there and back.

As for Tuesday, the original plan was to spray my room then, or at least do the first part, with the rest of it done Thursday, but there was a storm that lasted until morning and the forecast mentioned occasional storms until evening as well. Of course, these days tossing a coin has a similar chance of being accurate when it comes to the weather as the forecast, so it barely dripped a few times and there were moments when it was even somewhat sunny, but dad said it’d be better to wait for a drier day and I agreed, which led to doing it Thursday and Friday and being left with the stuff lying around even now. But at least the actual work is done, and I hope I won’t need to do it again until next year.
Either way, still had to buy some stuff Tuesday, so at 2:25 PM I was heading out, also taking some plastic bottles and cans, as well as the book. Took the free bus to Auchan, reading on the way, but when I got there I saw that the recycling machine was full, and when I tried to ask a guard to call someone to empty it he didn’t even let me finish. He was talking to someone on the headset and I didn’t get to say what I wanted emptied before he just nodded impatiently and pointed just as impatiently in what I thought was the direction of the machine, making me assume that he had already called someone and was telling me to just get back there and wait. However, after finishing a chapter while standing around the corner, I wandered around for a while and eventually, half an hour after asking him, or trying to ask him, to call someone, gave up, leaving the stuff on the machine and going in the store, gesturing at him as I walked past but not actually saying anything. Considering the reduced rewards, what I had was just worth 0.40 RON, but if they’re just left there I’m not even sure they’re dropped off in the right place, and either way everything I left was still on the machine as I went back out, having bought just one thing. Was looking at a few other things, but since I was ignored like that, it was my way to show my displeasure.
The thing is that I walked back from there, heading for this other farmers’ market where there’s that store that I can get that bio (organic) yogurt from even cheaper, so I could have taken the bottles and cans back and tried to use the machine that’s there. Still don’t know how that works when it comes to the rewards, it may require going to some recycling center with the receipt if you don’t want to donate the amount, which would be too much trouble and downright awkward for such small amounts, but I could have at least found out, and donated the amount in that case. But I didn’t even really think about it, just going there, buying one more of those buckets, plus some green onions from the market itself. Then got back here, dropped off the stuff and went right back out to the Kaufland and Carrefour from this area, also taking the things I assume are best dropped off at Kaufland. Then got what I wanted from each of those as well and was back here at 6:50 PM.

Written by Cavalary on June 15, 2019 at 11:55 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Blestemul zorilor (The Curse of Dawn)

It still reads quickly, and maybe also because I got more used to it, but it seemed better written than the first, and the number of obvious mistakes has been noticeably reduced, though for me it remains unacceptable. Otherwise, I wasn’t necessarily bothered by many things, though this again has in good part to do with the fact that I don’t care about the characters. And I know flashy action isn’t spared early on, and the bus scene at the gas station in Hungary is actually funny, and at the same time again very “real”, reconfirming this anchoring in Romanian realities, with the same odd exception of some “miles” instead of kilometers.
Still, scenes like the one from that church, or the attack that caused the crash, plus all the dead, can’t not attract attention at a level impossible to control, regardless of all the spells used. I mean, they’re not allowed to have a Facebook account and the concern about any possible witness with a phone is mentioned, but they do things that would make all the news and attract the attention of entire cities and there’s no mention of consequences. But speaking of consequences, the rape is rather troubling due to this approach that seems very common and possibly even sought after, apparently actually by women, where “don’t” becomes “don’t stop” and rage quickly turns into desire.
As for Nicol, it’s I’d say downright sickening how dumb she becomes, even if the reason is obvious. And what happens to mothers of boys was clearly specified in the first book, so it’s pointless for it to be a “surprise” in this one. But I keep returning to wondering how come she has a child, and I’m not saying this just as a militant antinatalist furious over the fact that such a main character exists, but considering that at the beginning of the first book she mentions abortions, so even if she was quite obviously bewitched to keep him, anyone else, starting with Roxana, should have realized that something’s very wrong, and maybe even exactly what.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on June 14, 2019 at 11:55 PM in Books | 0 Comments

First Interval Training

I can say that Thursday was my first attempt at interval training, at first aiming to push as hard as possible on sector one of lap one, sector two of lap two and sector three of lap three but realizing after that first sector that I’ll have nothing left on lap three if I do that and deciding to just alternate, the fast sector three also being on lap one, and then just struggle to make it to the end after sector two of lap two. The total time was just decent, 48:13, but sector times were 3:56, 5:01, 5:24, I think 4:35, most likely 4:42, probably 6:18, 4:42, 5:26, 6:20 and 1:49, making for lap times of 14:21, 15:35 and 16:28, so I have new records for each sector and also for one lap. Do have exact times as well, and I’m actually more certain of the hundredths than of the seconds on that second lap, so assuming the seconds are right, the exact times I saw were 48:13.71, with sector times of 3:56.20, 5:01.50, 5:23.87, 4:34.71, 4:42.35, 6:17.86, 4:41.98, 5:26.46, 6:19.45 and 1:49.33, making for lap times of 14:21.57, 15:34.92 and 16:27.89.
The issue is that I seem to remember something about 59 seconds at one point but it doesn’t fit with anything, the most likely total times between the end of sector one of lap two and the end of sector one of lap three may have caused me to get confused, as I recall them as 18:56, 23:38, 29:56 and 34:38, and I’m quite sure I didn’t calculate the time for sector three of lap two, being surprised that the total time was still under 30 minutes at that point and calculating just the time for lap two, and since that was 15:35 I ended up believing the time for that sector had been 5:35 and it obviously didn’t add up, making me even more confused. But I am quite certain of that sector two time, being a new record, and I guess I’m pretty sure of all of them in the end, but I’m just making a note of this confusion, just in case something did happen with my memory.
Either way, managed to avoid another cramp when I woke up that day, since a muscle was again about to react like that when I stretched but, after having it happen Tuesday and Wednesday, once on each leg, I managed to react just a bit faster and prevented it from happening again, which likely made quite a bit of difference during the run. Still felt a bit tired as I was starting to run, and hadn’t even eaten what I normally would before a run, but went out at 3:15 PM and it worked out quite well in the end, despite being quite exhausted after that last fast sector and just struggling to finish, resulting in that awful lap three. Probably had a couple more seconds in me on that sector two of lap two, actually, since I took a couple of steps after the start of the sector before going for it, then I think a tiny fly got right in my eye, and then a teen on a scooter actually looked straight at me as he was coming towards me, then turned his head away and turned around right in front of me, making me need to quickly avoid running into him. And since I mentioned that tiny fly, still felt something in my eye when I got back, and while I thought I washed it out at that time, when I again felt something there at night I had a look after washing well again and actually pulled a tiny fly out of there. Now I somehow doubt it was the same one, as I had noticed something flying around my room just before feeling something in my eye at night, but it was a weird moment either way.

The timed squats during this period were 2:31 yesterday, 2:34 on June 2 and I think 2:42 on June 1. And since I mentioned June 2, slept really poorly that morning. Woke up around 6:40 AM and took over an hour and a half, probably closer to two hours, to get back to sleep, but kept briefly drifting off during that time as well, yet had those dreams that made me think I was still awake yet one scary detail was different, so I was waking up again immediately and getting more and more frightened, and the sleep I did get after that period was quite restless as well. Also, speaking of sleep, two days later I was first woken up at exactly 11 AM by a call, but I didn’t answer and didn’t learn anything when I later tried to look up the number, so no idea what that was about.
Otherwise, since I’m at odds and ends, Thursday I noticed a couple of double middle clicks again, though those were the only obvious ones during this period, so it’s still not worth the trouble, and the risk, of taking it back to the store. On the other hand, on May 31 I did confirm that a process of G DATA Antivirus, AVKWCtl.exe, is responsible for those brief freezes happening every 15 minutes, but asking support didn’t produce any solution, whether for that or for the update issues I keep having. And also on May 31, but actually in its early hours, after eating at night, I saw someone ask for a cheap piece of additional content, costing $0.59, on the Community Gifting thread on the GOG.com forum and I had the equivalent of $1.08 left on the Paysafecard code still lying around, so I bought that for him and a copy of Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition for the Community Giveaway and cleared it out completely, the remaining balance being 0.00 RON. Had purchased that game for myself more than five years ago, for $2.99, and I’m yet to even install it, since the requirements state that it doesn’t work with integrated graphics and I didn’t even care to try to check whether that’s actually true.

As for buying stuff, Monday I woke up at 8:55 AM and was out the door one hour later, since it was no longer raining after having been rather stormy at night and the forecast stated that the break was going to end around noon. Had the metro card, so went to the Kaufland and Carrefour at Obor and got what I meant to get from there, though for the first time I didn’t see discounted, expiring stuff at that Carrefour, probably because it was early and they hadn’t gone through the shelves yet. Did use that discount code received for taking an on-line survey for Carrefour though, so I saved 10 RON that way. And then I also got some cheap apples and cabbage from that market on the way back, and returned here at 12:50 PM, quite sweaty due to having taken my jacket and the rain not returning. Felt a few drops just as I was getting back, but nothing else and it actually got sunny right after that, the weather only changing again after dark. So I left the jacket here when I went right back out to go to Auchan as well, using their free bus both ways and returning again at 2:45 PM. There was no hot water again that day, and in fact I had to wait until after I woke up on Wednesday to shower, because the site stated that it should start working again at 6 PM on Tuesday but it was only starting to get warm when I was about to go to bed, having still been cold even an hour and a half or so earlier, when I brushed my teeth.
But to return to buying stuff, went out again yesterday, leaving just as the Nadal-Federer match was starting and getting back just in time to see the last few points, in the last game. The idea was to get some spray against mold, since I really need to spray in my room again. Probably should have done it back in April or so, but now I finally asked dad to help me move the desk and he said he’ll be able to, so next week we should do that, when we’ll find a day without rain, so I’ll be able to spend the day outside after spraying, that will also work for him. The thing is that the spray we tended to use seems to have been recalled recently, apparently due to a risk of something coming off and the solution spilling on the user, and if when I checked on-line and saw it listed as available at two Auchan stores I never went to before I thought that maybe they had a new shipment which they had just distributed there first, when I got to one of them that day I saw that they only had the other kind from that brand. And since I heard the guy stocking that area tell someone else that they just did the inventory but are waiting for the manager to get back from vacation before ordering new stuff, I guess that instead of those stores getting new shipments first, they may in fact be the last ones that get updated and the information I saw was outdated. On the other hand, it may be a matter of the picture on the site being wrong, since the price was the one listed for the product I was searching for and the site didn’t actually mention the exact name of the product, so I went by the picture.
Either way, despite the fact that the kind I found is mainly for bathrooms and I think has a lower concentration but is sold at the price I expected to pay for the other one, I did get one, but also two of another kind, which is much cheaper and has a higher listed concentration… And when I got back I saw another one, of yet another kind, in the place where we keep them, so I guess dad had purchased one as well before I went there, even though I told him I was going to do that. But the bathroom is in a dreadful state as well and I’m sure there are places with plenty of mold in other rooms too, so it’s not like we won’t need them. The problem is that we keep maintaining these conditions that make mold always appear, and it’s only getting worse with just dad here, since he doesn’t care about this and continuously behaves in ways which clearly create those conditions.

Before ending this, I’ll also mention that I took the book with me yesterday, reading a chapter each way on the metro, finishing after I got off both times, since I just had a couple of pages left. Then I finished it after getting back, and in the evening also posted the quick review, in both Romanian and English on Goodreads. And I will say that I feel quite betrayed by Alma, who praised these books while she read them to the point that I got it in my mind to buy them, instead of warning me away due to one of the lead characters having a child, that child also becoming her motivation and, spoiler warning, ending up being crucial to the plot. I mean, I’m a militant antinatalist, with overpopulation as my main cause and considering having children under the current circumstances as the worst single crime anyone may commit, and on the recommendation of a friend who conveniently “forgot” to point out these “little” details I end up buying a series of books about a fucking breeder and her spawn, which series is also very well anchored in the day to day reality of Romania, so not something I can pass off as happening in another world, another time, another place, but something that, fantasy elements aside, is taking place right here and right now! Not that the books themselves, or at least this one, would be anything more than average, but this lowers my opinion of them even more and makes me quite angry at everyone involved, myself included.

Written by Cavalary on June 8, 2019 at 9:12 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Copiii intunericului (The Children of Darkness)

At least it reads quickly, and managed not to piss me off for reasons other than the obvious, but that’s because I no longer gave a fuck about the characters. Otherwise, any other positive aspects I may mention are minor things and/or also go both ways. For example, except some “miles” instead of kilometers at one point, I recognize that it’s well anchored in Romanian realities, but perhaps too well, not only because I don’t want obvious “reality” in what I read, it’s why I read fantasy after all, but also because some things used as explanations would confuse those who haven’t lived here, or merely tore themselves away from those aspects. Or I’d say nice touch with Nicol’s Romglish, but if it’d be another language I’d complain about the lack of translation, and that also applies to that coworker’s bits of Italian.
Speaking of Nicol, I “disqualified” her completely from chapter two, for the obvious reason, and the rating is so poor in good part because that becomes the main motivation and even theme, so I have some choice words for the person who praised the books until I got it in my mind to buy them instead of warning me away from them. Otherwise, day to day things are presented in detail but the relevant action is on fast forward, including instant romance. Then, perhaps it seems to sound strange to me also because it’s extremely unusual for me to read a book by a Romanian author, in Romanian, and the verb tenses that keep seeming out of place to me may have to do with a regionalism, but at least the typos and grammar errors are obvious and some are really jarring, which is the least you’d expect to no longer find in something that’s not only not self-published, but a second edition as well. And it’s Lenore, not Leonore. And Nightwish didn’t break up at all in 2005; they just kicked one person out. And, regardless of the spell, how do you screw, roughly too, when you’re so burned, considering that this changed only after that?

Rating: 2/5

Written by Cavalary on June 7, 2019 at 8:30 PM in Books | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Eschalon: Book I

While not something to write home about, as they say, Eschalon I is a pretty nice game that was, for the most part, quite enjoyable. Despite its limitations, the most obvious being that speed can only be doubled or halved, I’m somewhat fond of this type of turn-based gameplay, there was enough to explore and do, and despite the relatively simple graphics and, for lack of a better term, structure, it was more immersive than it might seem at first glance, at least while exploring the wilderness. The music likely helps with that too.
Unfortunately, character attributes are rolled, which is awfully frustrating, and then I have to point out the annoying skill system, requiring the player to read a guide first, in order to know which skills have trainers and/or books available before putting any points into them, and which may be increased by equipment before putting too many, so the limited skill points won’t be wasted. Other issues directly affecting the gameplay would be the fact that maximum regeneration is limited to one point per turn, which doesn’t seem right, and I’d say also the way movement is handled. As for lesser annoyances, I’d list the fact that selecting spells to cast can get rather tedious once you have many and the limited container space, with only eight items per container, requiring storing items in multiple places, though at least you can do so close to places you can quick travel to. I could also mention that locks and traps are a matter of reloading until you get the right roll, but that’s all right.

Written by Cavalary on June 2, 2019 at 12:36 AM in Gaming | 0 Comments