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Good Run, Concert, Cold and a Repeat of Computer Issues

As much as I want to start with the end, with today, I know I’ll panic even more if I do that and then be unable to write anything else. So if I’m to try to keep it together long enough, I’ll start with Sunday, when I went to check out a little fair I learned of. Was really tiny though, and there was nothing interesting for me there, but I also had a quick look through a somewhat less uninteresting one taking place close to where I live on the way, and also through the bookstore organizing the one I went out for. And then, since I had the metro card, meant to check out some prices in a farmers’ market I knew for being cheap, but I got there just after it closed, which Sunday seems to be at 1:30 PM, so couldn’t get inside and in the area outside some stalls were already empty and those manning the others were getting ready to leave as well.
The thing is that I could have reached the market before closing, if perhaps not early enough to have a really good look, but there’s a mall there as well and I wanted to see if I could find some information about something else, so I went there first, not knowing the market’s closing time. But I not only failed to find the information, as I couldn’t see it listed anywhere and of course I didn’t ask, but also seemed to have gotten there at a bad time, as an alarm was ringing as I was trying to go through the passage connecting the metro station with the mall. One of the doors of the rather creepy part of that passage also seemed closed, so as I spotted a guard rushing that way, everyone was going in, then turning around to go outside and enter through the main entrance, where crowds were forming. Yet alarms were ringing elsewhere inside as well, and while the stores on the ground floor were still open, the power was off for those at the floors above and below, with guards and employees at the entrances to turn people away. There were no announcements though and the guards on floors weren’t directing people in any way, the only information I heard being a store guard saying the sound was that of a fire alarm, so plenty were going up and down escalators, increasingly confused, especially since some larger stores separate floors into sections and if they’re closed people need to use the floor above or below to get around them. And then, when I made my way out, I saw that the revolving doors of the main entrance were off as well, the emergency exits being open instead.

Monday made me feel good for a change, because I ran another half marathon distance, with the same targets as three weeks ago, so aiming at 1:56 and hoping for 1:55, but managed a surprising 1:53:19. Must note that this time would have also been good enough to get an official time under two hours when I took part in last year’s half marathon, considering the 5:48.50 start time. And I remembered all sector times again, and they were 4:41, 5:31, 6:23, 4:49, 5:28, 6:28, 5:01, 5:28, 6:29, 5:00, 5:34, 6:32, 5:02, 5:44, 6:35, 5:10, 5:44, 6:47, 2:05, 6:48 and 2:00, making for lap times of 16:35, 16:45, 16:58, 17:06, 17:21 and 17:41, with the final 1.9-kilometer section being covered in 10:53.
Sure, each lap was slower than the previous one, but I just felt good all the way to the end, no longer hitting a wall, simply being able to run, which that 2:00 final sector proves. And you can also see the difference very clearly if you compare the times with those from three weeks ago, as I gained 1:00 on lap six and then 1:14 on that final section, 24 seconds only in that final sector, which only has some 400 meters. Of course, I in fact gained on each lap and on 19 of the 21 sectors, without losing time on any, as the times matched on the first sectors of laps three and four. And there was probably a little more in me, as I only struggled a bit on lap three, oddly, needing to push somewhat harder than I meant to at that point in order to remain under 17 minutes. And I didn’t feel like I was about to shit myself either, which is a first on such a distance, so didn’t even eat the garlic I had taken with me, as I noticed that it manages to counter that sensation.

Was still feeling good about it the following day, and that may have in some way influenced my sudden decision to consider getting a ticket to a concert taking place that evening, after stumbling into an article announcing it. Slept little and went to buy some things first, also taking the book with me and, having the metro card, reading two chapters as I went from one place to the other, exactly one each way, and just about pissed myself before leaving the hypermarket I bought things from, just barely rushing to the toilet with all the bags with me after paying, but it still didn’t seem such a bad idea when I got back and I had stayed under two thirds of what I had been given this time, which was a condition I had set for myself even if I also had the money saved by not getting myself a pizza after planting trees, which were actually slightly more than the price of the ticket, so I went back out to look for a machine that sells such tickets, as I hadn’t found one next to the hypermarket I had bought stuff from.
Was about to give up then, as I went to the one I knew, being the one I had purchased the ticket for the charity festival I went to in October from, and couldn’t find the event there, so was thinking there was either a problem with the machines or the events for that day had been removed already, and the price of a ticket at the door was 50% higher, so I wouldn’t have been interested anymore in that case. But then I thought I’d have a look for others too, went to the other one nearby largely out of curiosity, as until then I had thought it belonged to another operator, and upon noticing the same problem but also once again that there were very few concerts showing up in total and none for the following day either, I wondered whether there was a problem with that filter, so searched for all events taking place that day and the concert was the first one that showed up.
So then I went there, arriving in front of the club 30 minutes before the listed start time but, seeing no sign, not being sure I had actually found it and walking farther for a bit before returning, some ten minutes later. Still saw no sign, however, so I went around the entrance and ensured that I was in the right place by looking at the menu on a table outside. Then I got confused again when I went inside, as the guard asked if I wanted a stamp, in fact just saying that word questioningly, explaining that it was for the concert after I asked what for. Then I gave the printed ticket to the other person and my hand to the guard, but facing down, so he told me to turn it around and pull my sleeve up, placing the stamp on my wrist. My rather sweaty wrist, as I was wearing the watch and the camera was also up that sleeve, and then the stamp got smudged even more after washing my hands when I went to the bathroom before the concert actually started, despite being careful.
There was enough left to be allowed back inside though, since the bathrooms are oddly outside… Outside and rather hidden, even though there are signs, as it seemed to me that the sign was pointing to some stairs and not to the door next to them, which I missed entirely, so I first went up those stairs, then back down, entered through the door on the other side of the stairs, got asked whether I had a stamp and whether my backpack had been checked by another guard, and eventually got pointed in the right direction after asking him where the bathroom was. And yes, my backpack had been checked by the first guard, who asked what I had in it and whether he could check, starting to feel through it as I just took it off and left him holding it, rather surprised, since I expected him to want to actually open it.
Inside, before going to the toilet, I found myself a seat on the side and read one more chapter of the book, which apparently made me seem quite safe for two girls who stopped in front of me and, when I looked up, asked whether they could sit at that table too. And one of them took out a notebook and filled quite a few pages, both before and during the first part of the concert, before handing it to the other one, who had otherwise been largely just enjoying the concert, to have a look as well. And after the other one said it was all right, the one who had been writing said they should go, adding that it’s not like they meant to stay to the end in response to the other one’s surprised look. And they did leave then, leaving behind a crumpled piece of paper that just contained the names of the band members. But I guess she had been writing some sort of review for the concert, despite not staying… And apparently forgetting to take pictures at first, as the other one took a few but I guess she got reminded she needed some as well, as some time after leaving I spotted her return, looking quite annoyed as she made her way to the front to take a few pictures, then turn around and leave again.
As for me, as expected, I didn’t get much out of the concert, other than some pictures I guess. No idea what made me think I would enjoy it, despite thinking that this band does indeed have an interesting sound. Plus, I counted some 130 people, including photographers and probably also some staff, so individuals stood out, and more than the fact that I felt, well, noticeable was the fact that I noticed several obvious couples all around me. Had two in front, one behind, one on my right… Those just being those right next to me and who were very obvious and in contact most of the time. So that made me feel even more lonely. I mean, this isn’t one of the couples I mentioned, but somebody caught a picture giving an idea…
Either way, the concert finished at 11:05 PM, so no metro anymore and I walked all the way back, though I did reach Unirii Square at 11:25 PM and could therefore have taken the night bus leaving at 11:30 PM, which’d have also meant finishing my book, as I only had a little left to read. But I may have been able to finish it before the concert as well, as the band got on stage at 9:15 PM despite stating in the announcement that it’s important to be there at the listed time of 9 PM since, unlike others who can even be late for hours, they will start exactly on time. Well, they didn’t, but I guess those are details. As is the fact that I could have also stopped on a bench somewhere to finish the book if I really wanted to, just getting back later, but in the end I decided to leave that final part for the next day, when I posted the quick review as well.

Which gets me to Thursday, when the cold I had actually expected to come a little earlier due to my parents having it already, dad starting quite badly last week, finally got around to affecting me as well. Was wondering why I felt so cold that day at first, as there were no other symptoms, but then my throat and the roof of my mouth started itching in the evening and I understood the message, and then it was made even clearer when my nose got full of crap as the night continued. Not many other symptoms though, so it’s not too bad, but having all this crap and needing to blow and, as of this evening, also spit it out all the time makes it hard to even rest, much less sleep. Woke up at 8:50 AM today, so after likely less than three hours of sleep, and couldn’t fall asleep again, neither in the morning nor when I tried again, rather briefly, in the evening.

But this is hardly the only reason why I couldn’t sleep anymore today, because despite the MS-DEFCON 1 status I bit the bullet and installed the April security-only Windows update bundle, feeling too exposed since I always quickly install at least the security updates. And that status sure is there for a reason, since, after the reboot, I once again noticed the problem that first appeared back in September, that time after installing some optional updates. Had already installed the Internet Explorer update on Wednesday and the .NET one, in this case the full package available through Windows Update, on Thursday and everything seemed fine, but after installing that one today my coolers are again stuck at the minimum speed on the “Performance” setting, no longer changing speed according to the reported temperature, and I have no idea what to do about it, as there’s no newer BIOS version to update to, that being what I was told fixed the issue back then.
I guess there’s a chance there is some corruption somewhere and overwriting it may solve the problem, but don’t even know if that’s possible if it’s the same version, not something I ever tried or looked into. Or it may even work if I simply restore the default settings and then, after it loads them once, put the current ones again. But I have no idea and I dread to try anything at this point, as it’s not like the temperatures are in any way a problem and no other issue seems to be present at the moment and back then there were others as well, so I don’t want to risk making things even worse. Plus that I couldn’t even take the computer somewhere these days, being Easter. But, at the same time, while this is easy to spot, I wonder what other issues may go unnoticed yet eventually have nasty effects if not sorted out. And I’d first want to know how is it even possible for Windows updates to affect what should be a BIOS issue in such a manner.
Again, no idea what I’ll do. Not that I can deal with much, but definitely can’t deal with computer issues in any way. And now I see the forecast mentions rain starting tomorrow and pretty much lasting for the next several days, so the idea of just somehow struggling to just wait out these couple of days, when places will likely be more crowded, and then make a point of being outside most of the day just because I’m less afraid of that than of being at or around my computer when it has issues I can’t cope with probably goes down the drain as well. So not only not solving anything, but not running away either. And there’s still the cold to deal with as well.


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