This sure came as a surprise, but yesterday I managed a new record for ten kilometers, 47:22! Four seconds better than the previous record and I never aimed for anything of the sort. Sector times were 4:20, 5:10, 5:51, 4:21, 5:01, 5:47, 4:24, 5:00, 5:45 and 1:43, making for lap times of 15:21, 15:09 and 15:09, which also means a new fastest third lap. No new sector records though, just very good times in general, with the exception of the first lap’s second sector. And I should also mention that I’m almost certain that the second lap’s first sector was actually also 4:20, in the sense of being under 4:21, in fact maybe even being faster than the first lap’s first sector, but really couldn’t recall the exact time at the end of the first lap to know for sure, and either way I just go by the seconds in what I list, so it is what it is.
Though the route was quite clear this time and the reported temperature was 8-9°C, there was some wind that troubled me in some sections, which admittedly got weaker to some extent as time passed, and I didn’t really feel up to doing much anyway, so when I started I wasn’t even sure I wanted to aim to get back under 48:30, just wanting to make sure I’ll stay under 49 minutes. Did think I should get under 48:30 well enough after that good first sector, but then I just stayed on that idea until after the second lap’s second sector, so more than halfway through, when it just started looking like I might just barely squeeze a fourth time under 48 minutes if I pushed like crazy all the way to the end. So I did just that, but the next two sector times seemed to just barely give me a shot at that, until the third lap’s also great second sector time made me think it might just be possible to beat what so far was the second best time, 47:47. But with what I thought I had left, I had calculated 47:44 as the best possible time, didn’t think I could do better than that. Yet a great third sector of lap three put me on pace to just barely squeeze under 47:30, so getting very close to the record but still not there, not with what I thought I could still do. But I wasn’t even sure of that at the time, my brain wasn’t really working anymore at that point, so I didn’t trust my calculations and just pushed as hard as I could over that final sector, then checked the result when I was done and was surprised by what I saw.
Shouldn’t have been that surprised, since I had lost one second compared to that previous record over the first lap and four more over the second, then gained three over the third lap’s first sector and two over the second, so had the exact same time at the start of the third lap’s third sector, which I then covered four seconds faster than back then, meaning that I already had that advantage of four seconds after three laps, which I then just maintained over the final sector, which was covered in 1:43 both times. But, like I said, I didn’t think I had enough left to manage that, and right there at the end I wasn’t thinking much at all anymore.
Moving on, on December 31, in the afternoon, I made orders from four different stores, then added a fifth, from yet another store, shortly before going to bed last Tuesday, so in the early hours of January 3, and then I made one more last night. Not sure when I’ll be able to pick up this last one, since it’s the first time I order from that site and I didn’t get any word about it yet, plus that I made it twice, with a message in the second to cancel the first, since the first was made just before midnight and then I noticed that after midnight the price of League of Dragons, which I had included in it after noticing that it was significantly cheaper on that site than anywhere else, had dropped slightly. Got all the others though, one being delivered on January 4, since delivery was free and they didn’t even offer the option to pick up the item yourself, while I picked up two others the next day and the fourth yesterday.
So I pretty much went through the savings made by being as frugal as I possibly could since summer, leaving just enough to extend my Emsisoft Anti-Malware license this week and maybe purchase an ebook I was considering getting, if I’ll have a way to do so, plus the amount needed for the previous sale price of one other thing I was considering, which sale had already ended before the end of the year. However, League of Dragons wasn’t included in that plan so far, so if I’ll also be able to purchase the ebook I’ll have to dig into those remaining savings for it, and I likely will dig into them anyway, since I have to recharge my phone’s prepaid card during the next two weeks or so in order to avoid losing the number. And I was also thinking of looking for new running shoes during the discount period that tends to start on January 15, but now that will depend on how much I’ll get these days, since I can still make do with these if I wear two pairs of socks to protect that right heel and there are at least two months left before I’ll start to more seriously prepare for this year’s half marathon, assuming I’ll be able to sign up for it.
On to what I actually got, the item that got delivered was the new mouse, ROCCAT Kone AIMO, which I actually almost purchased from the store myself on December 30 but then decided not to do so, worried of both problems with the mouse itself and with the lack of warranty documentation, both due to past experience, seeing as I was purchasing it from a store owned by the same chain I had purchased the XTD from back then. However, while the mouse itself seems fine so far, the documentation problem wasn’t changed at all by the fact that I ordered it on-line. I assumed that doing so will ensure that everything will be in order, while purchasing from the store might have required me to again demand some sort of documentation that they wouldn’t provide if not asked, yet there was no warranty certificate or any other similar documentation in what got delivered either, plus that the invoice listed January 2 as the date, which I guess is when they sent it to the delivery company, instead of January 4, which was when I got it, and once again there was no reply to my message about this so far.
Also, while I said that the mouse itself seems fine, that’s only in terms of nothing obviously malfunctioning so far. Both clicking and scrolling are awfully loud though, at least the right button is still too easy to click, maybe even easier than on the XTD, making me often right click by accident as I rest my finger on it, and the wheel feels just a little bit loose, though at the same time it appears to be anything but, clicking or tilting it being quite hard, with next to no risk of accidentally doing so as far as I can tell at this point, the risk being to accidentally scroll while trying to do those things, almost certainly if you mean to tilt it. Also, not happy with the grooves where the light strips are, as on top of being useless for me, those will be dirt magnets that will be next to impossible to clean. But other than that, yes, I’m quickly getting used to the shape and button layout, even though there are some differences, I’m already missing that button above the wheel less than I thought I would, have the functions I want and then some and the wheel is actually more useful, allowing me to set actions for tilting, at least as the alternate function, which I didn’t dare to do on the XTD, and even to consider no longer disabling the alternate function for clicking the wheel either. Doubt I’ll allow wheel clicking to have any important function in a game profile though, but at this point that’s not an issue, and I won’t lose any available buttons if I’ll keep it disabled there, since I had the button above the wheel set as middle button for the basic gaming profile before and I’ll probably use the lower thumb button for that in the future.
On the other hand, I have serious problems with the software. It definitely has pretty much any function you can think of and then some and I quickly started making use of a few that the XTD’s software didn’t have, but then I noticed all the new running processes, the fact that it seems to check the memory space of any other running program, and, worst of all, that it seems to constantly use a bit of processing power, usually 2%, occasionally dropping to 1%. Did send a support message about it and was told that’s for the AIMO system, monitoring everything you do on the computer in order to adjust the lighting accordingly, and that it can be turned off, but I never had it on to begin with, not only because I don’t care about fancy lighting on a mouse, just picking this model because it was the newest in the series that included the one I had, but, more importantly, because I definitely don’t want to have something monitoring everything I do like that, and I have any other monitoring and connection options off as well, yet the behavior continues. So I pointed that out and demanded a way to completely turn that off, and preferably to turn off those additional processes as well, especially the system ones that actually seem to require that processing power, but the only reply I got was that it’s not possible, there’s no way to turn off those processes and there’s no way to help with this issue. And that was it, no further reply when I replied to that to point out that the software seems to mostly function, with the only exception being automatically switching the active profile for a program started from a shortcut or by another program, if I force those additional processes to close, which switching worked just fine on the XTD without such additional processes, so it should be possible to work now as well, and that if I was told the monitoring for AIMO can be turned off it means the fact that I still see it doing something despite being off is a bug which needs to be fixed.
I guess I’ll be sending some more messages soon enough, see whether anything can be done. But the thing is that I don’t really need the software to run, and I may feel safer keeping it off anyway, even if they’ll make it no longer use any processing power and appear that it no longer monitors anything except perhaps mouse actions if those options are off. I mean, automatically switching the active profile was a nice touch, but now that I can feel confident enough in having an alternate action for wheel tilting, I can change profiles that way and not sacrifice any buttons for it, while those statistics about mouse usage that the XTD’s software displayed are no longer displayed in Swarm, possibly still being gathered if Swarm is running but apparently only visible through the app, which seems to only be available for Android smartphones at the moment, and the fact that it requires something separate to be installed being an awful choice even if a Windows version is apparently being developed as well. Yes, many of the additional functions, including that of directly opening a program, which allows opening multiple instances of it, which using a shortcut does not, only work with Swarm running, but I didn’t have those functions on the XTD and I guess I can make do without them on the AIMO as well, sticking just to what I had. Or, more exactly, what I had plus at least one more, since there’s no point in having a button on the default profile to open the software quickly anymore, and maybe two more if I’ll decide I can be confident enough to add an alternate function to clicking the wheel as well.
But to finally move on to the last part, the other purchases had to do with my new phone, a Nokia 230. It’s the dual sim model since that’s the one that’s easy to find and cheaper, not that I’d have any use for that. Other than that, it seemed the least bad option out of what was available and at a reasonable price, though I have plenty of complaints about it if I think about it for a moment. Obviously not compared to the old Alcatel 512 I had so far, but compared to what I’d want from a feature phone now, even considering how little I’m likely to actually do with it. But I’m not going to write more about that, at least not yet. For now, I made a choice after all this time and, in good part just because it’s not something I’m used to using, unlike the mouse for example, it is what it is.
Still, should say what I actually purchased. Started with the phone itself with a two-year warranty extension, for a total of four years, using that voucher I won several months ago to cover more than half of the amount. Then, also Friday, went to a second store, one specialized in such things and which I had obviously never had anything to do with before, to pick up the case I had ordered, and which I can’t seem to find any “official” link for. Next, yesterday, I could go and pick up the 32 Gb microSD card I had also ordered, the version with the included adapter, just because it was somehow cheaper than the one without. What I’m a bit confused about is that, while the product page on the store’s site lists lifetime warranty and the manufacturer offers it, the warranty certificate has two lines for the duration, the second being “lifetime” but the first saying 60 months, and I couldn’t get myself to ask what that was about while I was there, though I stayed for a few minutes after actually picking it up, in order to put it in the phone and make sure it saw it properly.
As for the remaining order, that was initially for a screen protector for it, with the book added when I noticed its price, like I said. I’d say I could use that if I mean to really take care of this phone, because that screen sure gets dirty right away, despite the case and the fact that I’d have no reason to touch it and try not to, and now that I held the phone to my ear for a bit this evening, when someone doing a survey called, it got quite greasy as well and as I was trying to clean it I also noticed what seem to be a few faint scratches already. Wonder whether those were actually caused by me trying to wipe it, since I used my clothes so far, even if I tried to be gentle, only now trying to use something more appropriate. Also notice what may be a tiny flaw or a little bit of damage on that case I bought, on the side of the transparent part that actually holds the phone. But, again, what’s done is done, I guess.
The main problem is, of course, the very fact that I replaced that old phone, seeing as Andra gave it to me. Yes, this was the plan I mentioned when I posted about it turning 15, and I’ve been thinking about it and turning it on all sides for a long time, but it doesn’t make it any easier. And what’s worse is that the old phone won’t work without the SIM card, only displays a message to check the SIM card, unlike this one for example, so I can’t just keep it on just to still see it there. I did turn it back on for a bit on Saturday, to check some things and try to record both the ringtone I was using and one Andra had recorded of Bijou meowing on this one, though that didn’t turn out too well, but other than that… Sure, I can keep it in the same spot where I’ve usually been putting it so far, turned off, and at the moment I am doing that, but I think I’ll put it back in its box soon enough, with the battery removed so that won’t cause problems if left charged and connected but unused for a long time, and just keep it there as another of the ever fewer actual links to that time when there seemed like there might just be a point in anything, when life seemed like it might just be worth living and the future wasn’t made up only of terror and hopelessness.
And this is about it for now. What wasn’t included in that previous “catching up” post won’t be included in this one either, so not sure what will happen with that. But this is long already, plus that I slept little today, waking up early to go to Auchan and get bread, since the type I want seems to sell out quite early and they don’t make more later, so I again didn’t find any when I went yesterday, and couldn’t sleep for more than another hour or so, maybe up to one and a half, in the afternoon. But at least I also dropped off the plastic bottles and one can which had gathered, though the machine only accepted 18 of the 27 bottles, rejecting all of those of a particular type, and in general I no longer have the problems I had at first while using that machine, so I now regularly do this and get a tiny discount for it. And I also got yogurt from Carrefour, after noticing the price when I checked it and Kaufland between picking up the microSD card and going to Auchan last evening, and not just for this week, as initially planned, but until the end of the month or so, depending on how many days I’ll skip.