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Just Over 48 Minutes for Ten Kilometers, External HDD and Power Failures

This post’s title lists things in reverse chronological order, but that’s the order I’ll write about them in, so something’s right about it at least. I mean, how could I not start with the fact that last Thursday I beat my record for ten kilometers yet again, this time taking it to 48:04, assuming my stopwatch is still accurate? And yes, that does mean I was too close to 48 minutes to be happy with it, so I was left rather disappointed. I’d have probably been happier with a time that was just marginally better than the previous record, and definitely happier with one that was under the 48:17 I had calculated was required to match the average speed I had when I managed the record on seven kilometers, but not too close to 48:00. As it was, I guess it leaves room for a new target… Even though I had decided against attempting that 48:17 after working it out, thinking I’ll just set myself up for failure, and didn’t even mean to try for a new record either, just aiming for a fifth time under 49 minutes in a row until I actually saw the first sector times.
Speaking of sector times, those were 4:17, 4:52, 5:42, 4:28, 4:59, 6:02, 4:37, 5:11, 6:08 and 1:48, making for lap times of 14:51, 15:29 and 15:56. Unbelievable first lap, marking not only a new lap record, beating that 15:12 set on April 4, 2016, when I was just running 4.1 kilometers, but also sector records on every single sector, beating those set on November 23, 2015, April 4, 2016 and July 7, 2016, respectively, the first on the 4.1-kilometer run that was the record until beaten by the second, and the third on the record 7-kilometer run. Couldn’t keep it up, so the second lap didn’t mark a new lap two record, even though its second sector would have beaten the overall sector two record if it wouldn’t have been beaten by a greater margin in the first lap, and then the third lap was actually rather poor, considering my recent results.
I knew I was too fast even before seeing that first sector time, but when I saw a new record I decided to see how far I’ll be able to go, leaving the option of stopping after a shorter distance open if needed. And I definitely could keep going long enough to finish that lap in the manner I did, even though I had to pay the price for it later, struggling more and more as I went along, various things hurting, starting to feel out of breath, somewhat numb, even a bit dizzy… Was sort of in runner’s high even before the end of the first lap, by the time I was halfway through the second I was slipping out of that state at times, and by lap three it was a struggle to find it again. It took everything out of me, but I could keep going all the way to the end and lose less than I had gained during that first lap. And then even managed to go buy a few things a bit later, though I really didn’t feel like getting up again after getting back to my room and sitting down.

As for this week’s run, that was today and the time was 48:22, so it would have also been a new record if not for last week’s time. Sector times were 4:14, 4:55, 5:53, maybe 4:32, maybe 5:03, 5:59, 4:35, 5:15, 6:11 and 1:45, making for lap times of 15:02, 15:34 and 16:01. So I actually set a new overall first sector record, but then couldn’t keep it up, my liver hurting quite badly and needing to try to figure out how to manage that during the first lap’s second sector. Still, with three seconds gained during the first sector and three lost during the second, I had a shot at a new lap record, but at the time the fact that I had gained those three seconds somehow slipped my mind, the fact that I had lost those three making me think I needed a 5:39 sector three to even match that lap record, which didn’t seem possible, so I didn’t push as hard as I perhaps could have and that was the result. Laps two and three were pretty much all I could still manage though, the fact that I couldn’t even keep the third under 16 minutes being proof of that, even though that final sector seems to indicate that I still had a little bit in me, somehow. Might have been able to match last week’s lap two and three times without the gusts of wind, but the first lap’s third sector meant it wouldn’t have been enough even so. Not that I meant to try for a new record at any point today.
The issue is that I’m uncertain about the second lap’s first sector time, and therefore also about the next one. With 15:02 after lap one, I thought I’ll glance at the stopwatch and deduct two from the seconds I’ll see, but it’s quite likely that my brain changed that to adding two instead, because I ended up thinking I covered that sector in 4:36, so even missing the 4:35 target for a 16:00 lap, making me think I was in quite a lot of trouble. Yet then, when I know for sure that the total time after the next sector was 24:37, I had set the sector time in my mind to 5:03, which meant a 19:34 time after sector one and therefore a 4:32 sector time. All of that adds up well if I assume I correctly identified my mistake, adding those two seconds instead of subtracting, but I really can’t be sure, and I don’t remember whether I noticed something wrong and tried to work it out before the end of the second sector, meaning I looked again and knew for sure, or I only did that later. So there is also a chance that lap two’s first sector was covered in 4:34 and its second sector in 5:01.

I do still wonder whether my stopwatch isn’t losing a bit of time though. I seem to remember it being about one minute ahead of the computer and after last week’s record it was 20 seconds behind, but know it was no longer ahead at least a couple of weeks ago, so even if it lost something, it was at most a minute and a half over a month, if not longer. That adds up to no more than three seconds per day, so a tenth of a second over 48 minutes, making it irrelevant unless the loss is more significant when used as a stopwatch. And it didn’t seem to lose anything at all since last week, as it’s now only 17 seconds behind the computer, which is a pretty normal variation, the computer tending to get ahead by about one second per day and normally synchronizing the time with the server once per week. Should still probably test it soon enough, letting the timer run for five minutes, then for fifteen minutes, and then for one hour, and checking whether it’s accurate, because if something is wrong with it, these recent records of mine may go out the window.

With all of that out of the way, let me finish with today before returning to last week, because I went to buy some things after today’s run too, being out of bread, and ended up losing a ticket worth 0.31 RON ($0.08 or less than €0.07). Not much at all, of course, but took the plastic and metal recyclables to the hypermarket this time, using the small bus they provide, and the bottles and cans weren’t crushed, being quite few, so I put them in the machine with no problems for once and got that ticket before dropping the rest off in the marked area of the underground parking lot, yet it seemed to have vanished when I put the other products on the belt. And I had calculated my purchases so the change would have been rounder with those 0.31 RON… Though it is at least fortunate that I hadn’t calculated them so that amount would actually be needed, as I did two months ago.
Had put it in the little notebook I keep in my back pocket and took it out as I was heading to the checkout, putting it in my basket so I won’t forget it, and since I still don’t know what one’s supposed to do with these tickets at the checkouts I normally use, where a person still scans your items but you use a machine to pay, I even used a regular one, so also gave away my chance to pick up a few more coins left or dropped by others, but after putting all my items on the belt and the women after me starting to put theirs there as well, I realized I couldn’t remember taking the ticket out of the basket. Looked for it on the belt, tried to look around those women to see whether it was left in the basket, then checked my pockets, my bags and the floor around me, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Guess I shouldn’t have taken it out of that little notebook earlier…

And now back to last week, and by this I mean last Tuesday, when I picked up the external HDD I had my eyes on, so now I can finally make a complete external backup. Didn’t have my eyes on that one for long, having been looking at others before, but then I noticed that the store I got the spare mouse from back in April was selling this particular one with a five-year warranty. Other stores were listing anything between one and four, and one even had zero listed, so something strange was going on with this particular model, but they were listing five, so the Tuesday before this one I’m referring to I sent an e-mail to ask whether that was accurate, got no reply, so then simply made the order the next evening, adding a comment to say that I’m ordering it assuming that the warranty is correct. And, though they didn’t say anything then either, I did get it with a certificate stating the warranty is five years, even though the manufacturer’s site and even the back of the package state two years.
Quite sure that was an error, because they modified it to say two years after that, actually listing that product as no longer available and creating a new product page with the new information, so I can still click the link on the order page and see the old information. But I guess they made sure I won’t be penalized for their error, and I find it interesting that they didn’t even mention it… Though this doesn’t necessarily assure me that there won’t be problems if there will be something wrong with it after more than two but less than five years. But I sure hope I won’t need to find out, even if I did turn on BitLocker on it, so I won’t be as likely to give up on handing it over in such a case as I was when that flash drive I had bought failed. That one’s actually still under warranty, having come with ten years, but it’s also still in a desk drawer, not having been encrypted.
But to return to last Tuesday, one last thing I want to mention is that I had received the SMS notifying me that I could pick up the product when I had no Internet access, so I couldn’t check whether the order number in the message was correct. Would have been able to check when I first got back, since I first went to get bread that day, but didn’t try, simply dropping off the bread and the few other items I had bought and leaving again, assuming that it was correct and giving that number once there… Only to have a rather confused employee ask for my phone number, then inform me that the correct order number associated with it was a different one, because the one I had given was for something completely different and, if I understood correctly, even made through another store that they work with. I did show her the message and she said she didn’t say I was the one who made the mistake, but such things can happen on their end.

And speaking of having no Internet access, the reason for that were power failures. Last Tuesday morning, very early, I got woken up by the UPS beeping and I rushed to shut down the computer. The logged shutdown time was 6:43 AM, so I really mean it when I say it was very early. And it was still early when the power came back, and since I was still awake after a couple of minutes I turned the computer back on, logs stating that this happened at 7:09 AM. However, the power went off again after a while, so I shut the computer down again, logs stating that this happened at 7:38 AM. And, even though this second outage was brief, I didn’t want to be woken up again if I’ll manage to get back to sleep, plus that I had called and the recorded message stated that the problem should be resolved around 9 AM, so I left the computer and the UPS off until I woke up again, logs stating that I turned it back on a second time at 9:20 AM. And then I went back to bed, waking up for good at about 11 AM.
However, as it usually tends to happen, these outages in my area tend to be symptoms of bigger outages nearby, in an area starting just across the road. That part of the grid seems to have some issues and this one gets briefly dragged down along with it when the power fails or gets turned back on there. And since this was also the case then and the network I’m in has servers in that area, I had no Internet access due to the outage even if I had power here, my mother calling the guy before I left the first time, around noon, and being told that he heard that message stating that it should be solved at 9 AM as well but it definitely wasn’t even then. According to logs, it was sorted out at exactly 1 PM, as I had a failed connection attempt logged seconds before that time and a successful one seconds after. And there didn’t seem to be any other brief outages here around that time, or at least no noticeable ones, since I was worried about that when I left.

Other than that, do seem to have dropped Disciples for a while, after completing the fifth in that series of 21 “Divine Empire” scenarios, and got back to Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, struggling with the second scenario with the Nomads. And I do mean struggling, because I guess it’s made so you’ll be on the run, trying to keep some units alive long enough to achieve the objective, but I’m settling down and trying to defeat the enemies, even though they keep creating overwhelming numbers of units. Not sure if it’s possible, but I’m trying, and just managed to win some quite insane battles last evening, on the same turn having to deal with an attack of eight against eight in one place, then with one of 35 against 13, not counting my balloon, in another, immediately followed by one of 13 against my remaining five rocs and one phoenix, all badly injured, plus that balloon. And for this last battle I had no mana left and the only special attack any of my units could still use was one fire breath for my phoenix. But the enemy had seven manticores and six sphinxes, and all my remaining units were fliers, so after winning the first two battles I forced a draw in the third one, being left with one roc and the phoenix, each with a single hit point, plus the balloon, after the manticores were dead. No idea what the next turn will bring, saved and quit while I was ahead, but that sure was quite a moment.
And, while I’m at it, I should mention that I’m finally reading something again as well. Reading on the computer, as I picked up a Kindle copy of this book last November, when I happened to stumble upon it while randomly checking what was free at the time, and I didn’t read any more of it today and won’t be reading after posting this either, but I should nevertheless finish by the end of the week. Not sure whether the quick review will be this week’s second post or not though, because I should also be posting another year of statistics for the site, the period covered by it ending today, and after actually doing it without even trying last week, I don’t think I want to write three posts in a week again right now, leaving me probably wondering what to write next week. It may happen, but it’s very likely that either the quick review or the statistics will be left for next week, possibly being posted right at the start of the week.

And the last thing I want to mention before finally ending this post is that I somehow ended up with a 10 kopecks coin from 1961 in my pocket. Was looking through what coins I had last Thursday, when heading to the checkout with my purchases, and found it there. Seemed rather damaged and at first I wondered where I could have gotten it from, knowing I didn’t pick up anything like it anywhere, and this would be a very strange thing to just find on the ground anyway, but my mother had given me some coins she said she had found around the house, knowing that I tend to use every last one, especially when paying at those machines, while dad tends to just discard the small ones, and I hadn’t looked at them before putting them in my pocket. When I told her about it she said none of them were that color, that all were the color of the 1 ban (0.01 RON) coins, but when I dug through some other old coins that dad collected long ago and which had somehow ended up being left in my room, found a 10 stotinki coin from 1962, thought at first glance that it was the same thing and told her about it, she said she might have been wrong about that. So it’s possible that she found it after having been lost for who knows how many years somewhere around here and didn’t even notice. In fact, it seems the only thing that’s possible, so I didn’t even tell her that I had a more proper look when I took pictures of the two and they’re obviously not the same at all.


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