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Three Runs, Dad’s Laptop and Buying Alcohol for the First Time, Not for Myself

This post should be covering the two and a half weeks or so since the last general personal update, the two since then mainly catching up with stuff that happened before. The last post did also include the things that happened after that date and had to do with the new mouse, so I can at least skip over all of that in this one, and that actually means there’s not quite that much to add here, but it’s still quite a long period to cover and there’s a match I want to watch this evening, so let’s see if I’ll manage to be rather quick about it. At least I don’t want to also make popcorn before the match or look for something else to munch on even while struggling to write this, since I still have plenty of those pumpkin seeds I got out of that large pumpkin bought on January 16. Got some 200 grams, if not a bit more, out of that, and I was actually thinking that buying those separately would have probably cost around 5 RON when I only spent 6.27 RON on the whole thing.

While skipping over the part having to do with the new mouse, I will still start from January 26, when I ran, the time being 47:52, with sector times of 4:20, 5:10, 5:56, 4:26, 5:04, 5:49, 4:28, 5:03, 5:54 and 1:42, making for lap times of 15:26, 15:19 and 15:25. Can’t say that I recall much about that run anymore, but managing to stay even under 48 minutes yet again meant I did better than I expected, as I didn’t actually aim to do that. The one thing I do have to mention, however, is that the exact final sector time was actually 1:41.63, so I wrote it down because it might have been a new sector record. But since I normally only look at the seconds and therefore don’t know the exact times I had the two times I previously listed 1:42, I can’t be certain and this will therefore remain listed as merely a third 1:42, since that’s what it is if only looking at the seconds.
Besides, the last sector record issue was settled the next time I ran, on January 31. The time was 48:12, with sector times of 4:26, 5:15, 5:50, 4:37, 4:59, 5:56, 4:32, 5:05, 5:52 and 1:40, making for lap times of 15:31, 15:32 and 15:29. And yes, the whole point was to make a new final sector record, so I’ll know for sure what it is, and since I wrote it down exactly, I can say it was 1:40.22. I recall some gusts of wind that bothered me on the way, and even if I was trying not to push before the end the second lap’s first sector had me worried, the next sector’s time being evidence of that, but it worked out well in the end. Very well, in fact, as I didn’t even particularly care to stay under 48:30 and yet could have done so even with a particularly slow final sector instead of a new record.
As for this week’s run, that was Tuesday and the time was 47:56, with sector times of 4:17, 5:10, 5:55, 4:27, 5:02, 5:50, 4:26, 5:11, 5:55 and 1:43, making for lap times of 15:22, 15:19 and 15:32. So I managed another great final sector, this time the motivation being to stay under 48 minutes again despite not even really considering the possibility before sector three of lap three. Was feeling tired, keep feeling very tired lately and the joints on my legs are complaining a bit as well, my left hip most noticeably, and my left knee had also started to complain during that particular run, plus that some gusts of wind definitely bothered me, so I again didn’t exactly care to do more than stay under 49 minutes when I started, but as I went along and saw I could do better, I did better.

Back to January 26, after picking up the mouse I went to Cora, since I could use the metro, and just picked up some carrots and garlic. Was also looking for some of the apples that should have been on sale, but it seemed like they no longer had any of those. And yes, since I went there directly, I had the mouse with me and actually went in with it in a bag, not having it sealed as you should do when bringing in things bought elsewhere, but nobody said anything.
Three days later, I went to the other three hypermarkets, first checking prices and then buying things. The one annoying thing was that I fell for one of Kaufland’s usual tricks when one product seemed to be the cheapest there and I just grabbed it, not actually checking the price myself when I first wrote it down and then somehow forgetting to do so even when I took it, despite usually doing that anywhere and knowing that you really should do it in Kaufland most of all, as they often make such “mistakes”, the price on the shelf being lower than it actually is. While also the place where I seem to find differences between the listed and the real price most frequently, at least for certain categories of products, Auchan remains the only hypermarket where mistakes seem to actually be mistakes, as they can go both ways, the real price being lower a fair number of times.
But to finish with the shopping, right after this week’s run, directly from the park, I went to check some prices in Auchan. Couldn’t have bought anything then as I didn’t have any money with me and also had to get back quickly, but didn’t find what I was looking for anyway, so I just spent a few minutes there, rushing to catch the free bus they offer to get back. Then I went back out and went to Kaufland and Carrefour, and to the nearby Mega Image, since they had the cheapest cabbage at the moment, to check everything off the list and not need to go out again this week. And again I didn’t bother to do the “right” thing with my purchases from Kaufland when I went into Carrefour, for carrots, having the large yogurt in my jacket’s inside pocket and the bar of glucose in one of my pants’ back pockets. Did put everything away when I went to Mega Image though, as I couldn’t have stuffed the carrots anywhere and also had to ask to have two cabbages weighed, since you can’t weigh things yourself there and I didn’t know whether I could afford the larger one. It turned out I couldn’t.

But the rather funny thing happened on the way to Carrefour and Kaufland that evening, when as I was walking to the gate to the stadium, as I go around it on the way there when there are no matches or other events taking place, the guard approached me. At first I thought he won’t let me pass for some reason, but instead he ended up asking whether I could buy a beer for him, since he can’t leave his post. And if I refused when that guy asked me to purchase that can he had as I was standing in line in Kaufland back in December, the guard was obviously not a minor at least, so I stared at him for a moment and then found myself saying “if you give me money”. Realized later that I didn’t actually say I will get him the beer, but he handed me a 5 RON bill, pointing to a little shop nearby and telling me the brand and quantity he wanted, and I went there, rushing to try to get it over with before it’ll really hit me that I’ll actually need to ask for something.
That little shop only had the largest bottles of that brand though, plus apparently one last can, neither of which was what I had been asked to get. So I looked around for a moment, then walked back out, wondering whether I should just give up and give the guard his money back or look for another little shop. And I knew there had to be others in that area, so I decided to just keep going on that street, entering the one at the other end of it and finding what I had been asked to get there. Got a bit confused with the cooler door after being pointed to the one those bottles were in, trying to open it on the wrong side and having the person who was there have to point out to me that it opens from the other, but got it in the end. So I guess it can now be said that I bought alcohol for the first time, if obviously not for myself.
Rushed to get back to the guard after that, as it had taken me a few minutes and I knew he had to think I had just walked away with his money, and I did see him pacing as I got back. I guess he’d have also preferred it if I’d have handed him the bottle more discreetly, as he was quick to hide it in his coat once I gave it to him, in plain sight and having just carried it in my hand, but nevertheless he thanked me, after which I also told him I couldn’t find it in that nearby shop and had to go to the end of the street, to which he said “that’s why you were late”. Then I just kept going on my way, being left with 0.30 RON, since the beer had been 4.70 RON. Interestingly enough, 0.30 RON is exactly the amount I had been tricked with by Kaufland the week before.

Since I mentioned above that I had to get back quickly at first that day, that was because dad’s laptop seems to have died the day before and he needed me around when turning on his desktop, otherwise largely unused since he received that laptop, since for a long time now it again no longer remembers the BIOS settings despite having supposedly had the battery replaced after it first started happening, it barely crawls if he just presses the key to make it apply the default settings and he hadn’t cared to learn how to make the correct ones himself. After a few days of asking me to come whenever he turned it on, and not even leaving it on if he wasn’t using it for a while, which included asking me to wake up early one day and also waking me up when I was napping during the evening, he now seems to have learned what to do, but at the time he needed me here to sort it out.
Back to the laptop, Monday he called me over to say it won’t turn on anymore. At first I was wondering what was I supposed to do, since he said it wasn’t doing anything at all and I therefore had nothing to work with, but quickly noticed that while nothing showed up on screen it was in fact doing something, though he kept saying it wasn’t and was too impatient to wait. Since I did wait, I was eventually rewarded with a welcome screen, but in 640×480 and either 256 colors or otherwise looking really messed up. Everything else seemed to work normally once it logged on though, so I rebooted, disabling the automatic reboot on errors, to see whether anything will pop up, and everything seemed normal, including the image. But I wanted to check, so I rebooted again normally… And got the 640×480 image again, though the colors were correct at least.
That finally made me realize that the problem had to be the video card, so I first checked the system rating, which said the hardware had changed, and gave an error, I think specifying that it was a hardware or driver issue, when I tried to run the assessment again. Then I checked and saw a warning for the video card in the list, and when I refreshed it said it had supposedly found new hardware but attempting to install it failed.
What I did after that probably reduced any chances of fixing it even more, not that there were many to begin with, since a quick search told me that even if it does have a dedicated video card, for laptops that doesn’t mean it can just be replaced. Not that I’m sure that what I did actually did make it worse, but at first I turned the video card off, hoping to reset it that way but finding that nothing happened, then rebooted and checked the video settings in BIOS, finding only two options and just switching from one to the other… Which meant switching to the one forcing it to always use what it has, even if it detects an external video device it can use. Already had vertical lines all over the screen at that point, making it very clear that the video card was dying, but after I saved that change, when it rebooted again, the screen remained completely black, nothing showing up anymore.
Now the warranty label on it says it’s from 2007, so it sure lasted quite a while, and he received it for free, for work, but it’s still a problem when I doubt it can be fixed and getting another won’t exactly fit any plan at the moment, so I guess the question is what will have to be sacrificed for it. He did say he’ll take it to the guys who handle these matters at work, to see whether they’ll be able to do anything and, if so, for how much, but it’s still there on the desk even now. As for me, I couldn’t even figure out how to open it, taking out all the screws I could find but not managing to pull the bottom off, so I just took the HDD out and have kept it here ever since, waiting for him to tell me to move whatever he had on it on the desktop, since he said we can do it later when I mentioned it.

So much for this being a quick post, and the match is just about to start, but before ending it I’ll just mention that I keep doing stuff in the kitchen and some of it turns out pretty well, such as some food I made last Friday after asking dad to also get some frozen mushrooms. Still takes me terribly long to do anything, but what’s more of a problem is that, despite being so slow, I also “manage” to hurt myself now and then, such as burning my left hand in two places as I was trying to pick something that had fallen on the stove, somehow catching the little finger from my right hand in the toaster’s tray, resulting in something looking like the bite of a miniature snake, or cracking, or more probably scratching, since that edge can scratch while the impact itself didn’t seem bad enough, my head a bit just as I was starting to gather what I needed last Friday.

Later edit: Rushing to finish this post, I initially forgot to mention that on February 5 I returned Ivanhoe to the Library. Since dad could give me the metro card that day and not the next, I did something I usually really try to avoid, shaving right before going out instead of the previous evening, but just wanted to get it over with, even if it was only due on February 12… And, since I was there, picked up Good Omens, managing to find one of the two copies that the site said should be available at that branch fallen, if not actually hidden, behind the row of books on one of the shelves. Not that I’m certain that I actually want to read it, and I’m yet to start, but thought I’d give it a shot, since it was available there in English.


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