The first time I timed my squats again after running the half marathon was on May 18, 2:31, and it was 2:33 on May 20, while on May 19 there was a replay just when I finished and I had to estimate, but it should have been about 2:31 again, give or take a second. But the first run after the race was on May 17, since I didn’t deserve to take a week off, and the time was 48:16, with sector times of 4:17, 5:00, 5:48, 4:27, 5:06, 6:02, 4:34, 5:06, 6:04 and 1:52, making for lap times of 15:05, 15:35 and 15:44. As for this week’s run, that was yesterday, the time being 47:41, with sector times of 4:21, 4:57, 5:40, 4:27, 4:59, 5:51, 4:33, 5:04, 5:53 and 1:56, making for lap times of 14:58, 15:17 and 15:30. And since I again have all exact times as well, last week they were 48:16.35, with sector times of 4:17.52, 4:59.61, 5:48.18, 4:27.05, 5:06.05, 6:01.62, 4:34.03, 5:06.15, 6:04.44 and 1:51.70, making for lap times of 15:05.31, 15:34.72 and 15:44.62, while this week they were 47:41.55, with sector times of 4:21.18, 4:57.33, 5:40.35, 4:26.93, 4:58.55, 5:51.44, 4:32.83, 5:04.23, 5:52.98 and 1:55.73, making for lap times of 14:58.86, 15:16.92 and 15:30.04.
It was hard to find a window to run last week, between the rain and wind, but when I went to bed Friday morning the forecast had that day’s storm ending at 4 PM. However, when I woke up it said it’ll be between 3:30 PM and 7 PM, so I meant to try to go before it’ll start… Yet it started earlier, the storm itself not lasting long but rain starting again before I got ready, so I only went out around 6:40 PM, wearing the running t-shirt and undershirt but the regular shoes, since it was wet and there were puddles to go around, and some mud and leaves in some places too. Saw someone wearing the t-shirt from this year’s half marathon heading out of the park as I was going in and thought I actually recognized him from the race, and then on sector two of lap two there were two others wearing that t-shirt and running in the same direction, first a woman that I overtook easily and then a man who overtook me just as easily. There weren’t many people otherwise, but the puddles caused some problems, as a single person could be enough to block the way, or at least the better way, around one. There was also a bit of a silly dance with a cyclist on that same sector two of lap two, as he and a runner were coming towards me, the runner being faster and about to overtake him on his left, so I went to my left, his right, but he went the same way and even said “right”, which prompted me to ask whose right as I made my way around. Leg muscles felt like they were just barely holding off cramps from the beginning and even more of them ended up unhappy as I ran, had a few warnings from my right knee as well, and liver started hurting quite a bit from lap two, I think from that same sector two, and only started getting better on sector two of lap three. Also noticed what looks like quite a bloody blister on my left big toe after I got back.
Yesterday I meant to wake at most at noon and go out to run at most at 1:45 PM, but kept waking, and when I saw almost 11 AM I said I might as well get up. It still was 1:30 PM when I went out though, since I took it easy, and it was odd to see that one of the lights in the bathroom no longer worked when I went there just before leaving, since it had worked earlier. Dad said it just turned off as he was brushing his teeth, and today I confirmed that just that LED tube no longer works, so I’ll have to take it back, since I do have a three-year warranty on them after all and they were purchased less than a year ago. But to return to the run, it was really windy, yet the forecast said it won’t get any better these days, and as of Friday it’ll rain again too, so I went then, even though there were places where I felt like I could barely advance against the wind. I think lap two’s first sector was the worst from this point of view, but there were a few different places on the first sector, as well as areas mainly towards the end of sectors two and three, which were a problem on each lap, so I did a fair bit better than I thought I would. And there were a few more seconds to be found, since I really lost focus on the last sector. Unfortunately, also noticed that my right foot really damages my shoes, obviously being a bit smaller than my left and rubbing against the back, and I could spot tears starting to form in two places inside the right running shoe, even though I only purchased them last August.
Got back from yesterday’s run at 2:45 PM, but went right back out to buy one little expiring thing from the supermarket across the road, getting back at 2:55 PM… And leaving again just over half an hour later. Would have probably been exactly half an hour later, but dad asked me to take a few pictures of him, since he had to send some somewhere. Either way, meant to attend a protest organized by an NGO as the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment was taking place in Bucharest, at the Palace of Parliament, and I walked there and back. The protest was intended to draw attention to the clearing of Romania’s forests and demand their protection to be placed high on the agenda, and it actually started Sunday, with what was the main event, a street artist painting a giant deer head and other participants adding their own drawings and messages in the area, people being asked to also come Monday and Tuesday in order to maintain a visible presence during the meeting itself. If Monday’s schedule was morning to evening, Tuesday there was a break between the morning and afternoon hours, so it was for this last “session”, set to take place between 4 PM and 7 PM, that I went, since I hadn’t attended any of the others.
I was somehow left with the idea that the location was Constitution Square, so I went there first, then got to the actual location, the entrance of Izvor Park that’s across the road from the Palace of Parliament, at 4:30 PM. However, while I saw something about over one hundred people attending Sunday and a few pictures showing at least a few, and a large banner, Monday as well, I can’t say I saw anyone then. After having a first look, did go to the toilet that’s quite across the park, having to wait for someone else too and getting back some 15 minutes later, but then I sat on a bench until 5:10 PM and then took pictures of the drawings and messages, which I actually only then noticed extended on the sidewalk way past that entrance area, until 5:30 PM, when I left, and during that time there really didn’t seem to be anyone else around who was there for that reason, or at least certainly no more than one person, since there was one woman sitting close to the entrance and talking on the phone. I guess it is possible that at least a few people arrived after 6 PM, and I would have stayed longer if I’d have brought a book, which I actually thought of doing, but since I didn’t, it was already becoming awkward, not to mention a waste of time, as even so I only got back at 6:45 PM… And still haven’t showered, after running and spending those additional hours outside, since there’s no hot water again as of yesterday. But at least I saw the street art, as the authorities, after first demanding it to be cleaned up after the protest, eventually agreed to allow it to remain until the elements will erase it.
The protest that I actually did attend was Sunday’s march for parks and green spaces in this sector. As I mentioned before, when another protest took place there but I didn’t attend, the movement was triggered by a playground and other street furniture being cleared from a park which was also no longer listed as a green space where construction is not permitted, likely as a step towards granting the one who ended up being given ownership of the area a permit for a building to be built there. Those living nearby reacted immediately and they actually seem quite well organized, and that reaction is starting to show signs of evolving into a more active and visible movement for parks and green spaces in Bucharest’s Sector 3 in general, which that day took the form of this march, starting from there and ending at the Sector 3 city hall. Organizers seemed surprised at the turnout, but I counted about 130 people the second time we stopped, and about 120 the next time, a few perhaps giving up on the way, and those numbers didn’t seem surprising to me.
I set the alarm at 9 AM but woke up on my own at 8:58 AM, and after still not really knowing what to wear when I went to bed, the organizers asking for something green, I decided to keep the shirt and cap I normally wear these days but add two things received at races on my arms. One of them, from this year’s half marathon race kit but not worn then, had the name of a fossil fuel company on it, but I could quickly cover it with tape and, after also taking the newspapers and magazines which had gathered to drop off, still managed to be at the door around 10:05 AM, and there just before 10:30 AM, which was the announced start time. However, it was then that I realized that I hadn’t taken the camera, so had to make do with my phone. Still took quite a number of pictures, but the quality is poor as a result.
At first I heard the organizers say that they intended the march to start at 11 AM, but it only did at 11:30 AM. So I wandered around, received a badge, refused I think two bottles of water, and then sort of kept wandering around during the march as well, all the children and older people meaning that we moved slowly and stopped three times, two of the stops being part of the schedule and intended to display the signs and banners properly where they’ll be seen, but the third being added just so those who needed to could rest again, in the shade. We were finally reaching the destination at 1:10 PM and, after gathering for a few more pictures with the signs and banners, which were mainly provided by the organizers, those who wanted, mainly children, could again write with chalk on the pavement and also, I’d say much more appropriately, with markers on the blank part of the signs brought by the members of USR-PLUS who also attended. One of the best known activists when it comes to dealing with the city’s environmental problems also showed up around that time, surprising me by greeting me and asking how I was when he saw me next to him, then saying that he had another issue to deal with that morning and that was why he only managed to get there at the end. I eventually left just after 1:35 PM, when only a handful of people were still there, talking, after the signs and other materials had been gathered, but was only back one hour later, since I first went to that Kaufland and found plenty of discounted, expiring yogurt, one 400 g cup actually only expiring on May 25 and a whole crate of small ones expiring on May 23, so I bought enough for this period, and one more little thing.
Still on the topic of that march, however, I sort of meant to leave it out, this being a personal post, but now that I’m here and already mentioned them, I’ll add that quite a number of members of USR-PLUS were present. That included USR’s president at first, but after some complaints about having politicians there, I think mainly from one person, he left before we actually started the march. The rest, among which I recognized at least a senator and two members of the local council, didn’t seem targeted in the same manner and remained from start to end, forming their message out of those large signs whenever we stopped. Said signs did have their logo, but on the back, where there were pictures of parks from cities in other countries, and they only turned them over to show that side at one point at the first stop, to show them to the drone that was filming, and one point at the end, when they asked one or two photographers to take some pictures of them holding them like that, otherwise seeming to really try to avoid giving people reasons to say that this was a political event. Did see an USR-PLUS badge in someone’s chest at one point, before the march started, but that might have just been a supporter. There was also the fact that they had people distributing their campaign paper for this sector in the spot where the first stop was, but that doesn’t have to mean anything, as they tend to have people at that park’s entrances during campaigns, and for example another party had people handing out campaign materials when we passed in front of that mall from that area.
To return to May 17, it was actually someone doing a political survey who called and woke me up, and that time I answered. Oddly, in the part about how much you trust certain political figures, there were three names she asked whether I knew, saying she didn’t know them and that was why she was asking, and while I really didn’t know the last one at all, I had heard of the first two and, while that was just about all I could say about the first, I should have really known the second… And she should have known him even better, seeing as, on top of being quite well known as a politician, he seems to be the founder of the firm she said she worked for, so I wonder whether that was an attempt to trick me into not answering and avoid adding bad opinions about him. If it was, she was successful, since being asked like that made me fail to connect the name with the person just then.
Either way, there were two moments when she seemed to want to steer me towards giving answers in favor of PRO Romania, this time definitely failing, and otherwise seemed to agree with my hostile position towards PSD and my disappointment at the likely outcome of this week’s elections. And then, though I again felt like crap for having to lie about my “job”, in the sense of giving the answer written in the documents instead of saying I don’t have one, the education question made for an interesting exchange. She listed the options and just middle school wasn’t among them, so I said that it could be a bit tricky, since in my case it’s just that, and she assumed I was embarrassed by it, asking why was I ashamed, whether I thought that mattered, saying that one’s mind is what matters and we had a great conversation while there were people with multiple college degrees that she talked to that could barely put two words together, and then at the end again told me to not complain or feel bad about that, as if I did…
A bit later, while waiting for that storm to pass, I finally uninstalled Emsisoft Anti-Malware and installed the Windows updates, including last month’s, which I hadn’t installed until then. And then, when it started raining again, I downloaded the installer for G DATA Antivirus, which is the first one I decided to test now that I’m again looking for options, and tried to run it… Only to have it complain that there was a compatibility problem with some redistributables, which I tried to uninstall through it but it said it failed. So I closed it and uninstalled what I thought it was referring to, the Visual C++ 2012 which I figured out had been installed by Ember and therefore no longer needed, but when I tried to start it again after that it said changes to my system required a reboot, though I hadn’t been asked for one after uninstalling that. It also had a checkbox to allow it to reboot then, stating that if checked the setup will start again after the reboot, but I unchecked that, closed it again and rebooted manually… Only to have the setup try to start anyway, and for some reason fail to do so, leading to me starting it manually anyway.
Well, it still said that the redistributable in question was there, and it’s just now that I realize that it was right. Guess I’ll have to apologize for the couple of messages claiming otherwise sent to support, and I actually just took a break from writing this to do so, since I was convinced it was referring to that C++ redistributable, while I just now noticed an entry for Visual Studio 2012, so it’s possible that I misread what it was saying, multiple times, because this one is indeed signed by AVG, as that message stated, and was installed back when I tested that, fitting with what I was told by support, that such conflicts are caused by traces left after uninstalling other security products. So I guess it is possible that the fact that my computer became unresponsive at the end of the installation, after I decided to go through with it despite the warning, was indeed caused by a conflict with it… Though I still rather doubt that.
Either way, the installation seemed to have completed, or at least the progress bar filled completely, but then the part of the screen where that window was became first black, then white, and when I hit Alt+Tab I found a prompt from Comodo Firewall that was also not responding. So I guess a conflict with that is also possible, but the HIPS should allow everything, G DATA being a trusted vendor, and so far it did, and I had allowed it to connect while it was installing otherwise, and one’s connection may even fail, so it shouldn’t cause the computer to become unresponsive if it can no longer connect when it finishes installing. Yet after trying to switch back to the setup, I got the message that it had stopped working, and when I clicked to close it I got that dreaded little window saying Microsoft Windows is not responding. But the HDD activity was telling me a full system scan was taking place, so that could still happen even though everything else was blocked, this latter part being confirmed when I later saw computation errors for the SETI@home work units being processed at the time. As such, I waited for over one full hour, the different noises telling me it was progressing through the partitions in the expected order, yet my system didn’t recover after it seemed to have finished, and if until then I could at least still move the mouse, when I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del it froze completely, requiring a hard reset. The G DATA setup tried to start again after that, but I didn’t allow it, and it seemed to have installed and work. However, it said I had no valid license and couldn’t update, and there was no way to activate a trial license.
I’m thinking that activating a trial license is something you can do at the end of the installation process, after my system froze, so I never got to that point. And it took a while to get a reply to the e-mail I sent then asking what to do, since they seem to have no support over the weekend, but Monday morning I did get a trial code and entered it after midnight, thinking that I may get one more day if I do it like that. Interestingly, the guy who replied has a quite obviously Romanian name, but I sent the message to the English support address and I’m obviously sticking to English and so is he. That first reply, and the one after it, did seem quite canned, even if they were obviously written by a real person, but this one I just saw now seemed better, and they do come quickly, I guess except over the weekend, as it was just today that I replied to that second reply received Monday. I’m not happy with some of the things I’m told though, since I asked about some functions, so at this point it doesn’t look like it’s an option this time around either, despite the fact that there are still quite a few things I like about it, as it was four years ago as well. But we’ll see…