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Long Walks and Regions of Ruin

Since this is the last personal post I can post at the moment while still sticking to the one remaining rule, I’ll have to put everything in it now and then maybe finally get around to throw that quick review for Eschalon here as the week’s second post. Could have gone to the book fair today instead of yesterday, instead of sitting here trying to write this, and could have even used dad’s metro card in this case, since he got back not long after I woke up anyway, but Tuesday the forecast listed storms starting Thursday afternoon, and even before I went to bed this morning it still listed them in the evening, yet it was only stormy last night, while today it was just sunny. But at least this way I can post this now and include everything in it.

To start with yesterday, with just over ten kilometers to walk to the book fair and it closing at 8 PM on that first day, as well as today and Sunday for that matter, I meant to leave no later than at 4 PM, yet it was 4:06 PM when I finally rushed out the door, actually taking my watch too, to make it easier to check the time on the way, since I had one more reason to really want to get there before 6 PM, the president launching his new book there at 6 PM, which made me think it might be somewhat harder to get in and wander around if I’ll arrive while he’ll be there. But I managed that well enough, getting in at 5:44 PM, and in fact he was late, walking in at 6:08 PM… Just when I was back at that entrance, after having taken my time glancing at that area, just to get back on the other side of that first group after 6 PM. And it was just that place in front of that entrance, on the side I had returned on, that had some stuff I could have been interested in, so I saw that, meant to start checking out what they had on the outside first, but then noticed all the cameras and reporters at the entrance and realized what was happening. Still tried to get behind them and have a look, but just then they all stepped back and I darted behind that partition, on which that store seemed to just have CDs and DVDs anyway, so not what I’d have been interested in. As a result, I was just starting to look at the books when the president and the others who were with him walked past.
After I finished looking, I marked the place on the map of the fair which I had taken at the entrance and decided to return there at the end, since I was sort of considering something, but on top of the fact that I really shouldn’t spend anything on anything not absolutely necessary now, a bug had been squashed with the single copy that was on display. Then I pretty much just wandered around, just looking at things despite obviously having no interest, and covering about a third of the area before I decided to head straight for the area at the other end, where most of the small stands are, since those tend to close early, and I did indeed see three or so already closed, with nobody there anymore, when I reached them, a few minutes after 7 PM, a few others putting things away and getting ready to close as well. However, it was in that area that I found a second point of interest, a store selling used books in English that actually took up a larger space than the others around it. Nothing particularly interesting there at that time, but I could have considered a few titles and the prices were good, so I marked that place on the map as well. Then continued the other way, to cover the remaining area, finding another potentially interesting place but it wasn’t even enough to mark it on the map, then getting to the place where the president had launched his book well after the event had ended and finding it quite deserted, and then needing to rush through the remaining area, in fact including some of the biggest publishers, since it was getting late. But, of course, I’d have no interest in what those publish anyway, so I just got back to that first store’s area at 7:50 PM, had another look, decided against getting anything and was out at 7:55 PM.
Didn’t care to push myself so hard on the way back, and also spent a couple of minutes at the toilet at the exit of Herastrau Park, first waiting for it to finish the cleaning cycle after the previous person and then just going in to wash my hands, since they felt rather sticky for some reason. So I was back at 9:45 PM, after over 20 km walked there and back, and probably around 25 in total, counting all that wandering around inside… And then, while making a salad, I “managed” to cut my finger in the top of the salt shaker as I was trying to unscrew it, and it’s actually quite a cut. But, either way, ate and then also showered at night, before going to bed.

That long walk was actually right after another one I took the day before, when I also again noticed no visits recorded, in either view. Woke up around 11 AM then and at first meant to try to get back to sleep, but the noise from the HDD got my attention, decided to go to the toilet too, also put some meat left by dad in the kitchen on a plate, since blood was pooling under it, then since I heard those noises again I decided to check what was going on. Not that I figured anything out, but since I’m seeing a pretty clear pattern, looking at the HDD LED, I’m thinking it’s possible that it has to do with G DATA Antivirus, since ever since installing it there are frequent moments when the computer seems too busy to respond for a couple of seconds, and I noticed a spike in CPU use from one of its processes for no obvious reason when I happened to have Task Manager open at one point. It’s hard to check everything at once and at the right time to confirm it, but at the moment that seems most likely, so I’m trying not to worry about it. I’ll be getting rid of this when the trial expires anyway, since it’s not a good enough option this time around either, and I’ll see what happens then.
Getting back to that morning, since I was at the computer, I decided to install and start Regions of Ruin, which I had actually asked for after seeing it among the available games on the Community Giveaway on the GOG.com forum on May 26. Received the code that evening as well, before midnight, but it was well after midnight when I redeemed it, so I’ll say I actually got it on May 27, and I’m actually playing it a bit. Meant to read the first of those Romanian books this week, and have the quick review for it as the week’s second post, but guess I’ll be using that time, and likely more, to play this instead.
Either way, eventually decided to give sleep another chance and got back in bed at 12:35 PM, only managing to nap a bit before finally getting up at 2 PM. Then, around 3:55 PM, I went out for the second attempt to get that failed LED tube back to the store, taking the plastic out as well. And this time around I did get there well enough, at 5:15 PM, without getting lost again, and the matter was sorted out very quickly and simply. I mean, I obviously had the receipt with me and expected them to take it and tell me I should come back some time later, or at best that they’ll send a replacement some time later, but instead they replaced it on the spot and didn’t even look at the receipt. I went in, said I had a problem and was searching for the word to describe what happened to the tube when the guy who was there helpfully asked whether it had “deceased”, saying that it happens when I confirmed it. Then one of the women just took it away and a bit later just came back with another. Did hear the guy say that it was less than 10 RON, and indeed I saw that it was on sale for 9.50 RON ($2.23 or €2.00) at the time, but I wasn’t really listening to what they were saying to each other, so I’m not sure what he was replying to. So I was quite surprised, asked whether that was it, then just thanked them and came back, getting here just before 6:45 PM. And yes, it works just fine. Would sure be nice if all warranty problems would be handled like that… But, speaking of that, I still dread the prospect of needing to take my mouse to be fixed, since Saturday there were obvious double clicks on the middle button again. Really comes and goes though, so I’m still waiting at the moment.

I mentioned above that it was the second attempt to take that LED tube there because the first had been last Thursday and that went badly. After all, the rule is that the shortest route is the one you know, but I saw that I could walk about one kilometer less if I got off the metro three stops later and decided to try that, even if the amount of time the train needed to cover that distance meant that I’ll actually gain very little time, and the fact that doing so required taking one train instead of either of the two meant that I could even end up losing time, if I’d have had to wait for it. So I got off at that stop, but didn’t realize that it had three exits, two of them on the side I needed to walk out on, and the one I actually needed to use was hidden behind something when I looked around, so I used the other and after that it was obvious that my mental map could no longer apply, and by the time I finally got back there and saw which exit I should have taken, it was 5:25 PM and too late.
I left at 3:50 PM, taking out the plastic and metal, and since after reaching that station I didn’t see that other exit or the map, which was also hidden behind something, I just went straight out… And in the wrong direction. I mean, in what would have been the wrong direction if I’d have used the right exit, but as it was it actually would have allowed me to go the right way if I’d have realized it. However, when I noticed that I reached the exit from the other side, I realized I was going in the wrong direction and turned around on the spot, while if I’d have turned left I’d have ended up going the right way, only losing a few minutes. As it was, I just kept going until I finally reached a major intersection, which definitely seemed to be the one close to that bigger Carrefour, but I just ignored what I was seeing and kept following my mental map, getting a bit lost on the streets that I ended up on and eventually returning to confirm that I had indeed reached that intersection, and the metro station that’s there. I tried to check a map on my phone but obviously couldn’t get any to load, looked for signs but saw none that made sense, went to that metro station to look for a map of the city but there was none, and then, instead of taking the metro from there and getting back to cut my losses, I decided to walk back to the metro station I had gotten off at in the first place, to try to figure out what was really happening. And that did help, as otherwise I wouldn’t have known what to do Tuesday.
What made things worse was that we still had no hot water, and I hadn’t showered after running, two days earlier, either, since that’s when it had been turned off, so I felt just soiled and said I’ll heat some while eating that night and wash that way if it won’t get back by then. However, in part because the pressure had returned as I ate and the site stated that it was “starting up”, and in part because my mother pissed me off by throwing out some glass jars and bottles which I was actually still trying to persuade myself to try to offer to someone, and which are either way among the things I just want to dispose of myself and in a particular way, just because I want to, and I didn’t feel like going through all that trouble anyway as a result, I decided to give up on that idea, hoping I’ll find hot water when I’ll wake up, possibly just to pee, and be able to shower properly then… Which still wasn’t the case. What we got, and paid, as hot water that following day was just a few degrees above the cold one, probably due to the pipes being insulated, but I nevertheless used it to quickly wash below the waist, my underarms and arms… Only to see that the problem was finally sorted out a few hours later. Didn’t wash again then though, instead doing so the next day.

Since I mentioned last week’s run, this week’s was Monday, and the time was 47:53, with sector times of 4:18, 4:55, 5:43, 4:24, 4:58, 5:55, 4:35, 5:13, 6:07 and 1:45, making for lap times of 14:56, 15:17 and 15:55. And since I have the exact times I saw as well, those were 47:53.27, with sector times of 4:18.13, 4:55.01, 5:43.68, 4:23.59, 4:58.22, 5:55.12, 4:34.56, 5:13.53, 6:06.43 and actually 1:45.00, making for lap times of 14:56.82, 15:16.93 and 15:54.52. That was an awful lap three, but to stay under 48 minutes when I pretty much just decided on the spot to run, unprepared and after having barely slept the previous day, I’ll take it. I mean, had just eaten an apple and something sweet, not the usual stuff I eat before a run, not even the tea I drank was what I tend to make when I run, but with dad saying he’ll only be able to give me his metro card, to take that LED tube to the store, the next day, the book fair starting Wednesday and storms supposed to start today, it seemed to be the only chance, so I decided on the toilet, when it was already past 4 PM, to go then, being out the door at 4:40 PM. Expected worse wind and more people, but there were just a few places where the wind was something of an issue, mainly on lap two and the first part of lap three, and there weren’t that many people either.

As for Sunday, with dad supposed to get back a bit before 7 AM and my mother still here at the time and, as usual, not sleeping, she was saying they’ll go vote right then, at 7 AM, as soon as the stations open… And while I somehow didn’t wake up when he came in, I did wake up when they left, and then they got back after a bit, he left again, I guess to buy something, she did something in the kitchen, then he got back and he was in the kitchen for a while, and by the time they both went to their rooms and it got quiet, it was after 8 AM and I hadn’t been able to get back to sleep. Wondered whether I should stay in bed and keep trying to sleep, but that seemed like just a waste of time at the moment, so by 8:30 AM I was up, took those bottles and cans I just came back with after finding what I needed and turning around before reaching Auchan a month earlier and a part of the others which had gathered since then, and left for Auchan a few minutes before 9 AM, also taking out some old magazines and a couple of cardboard boxes my mother had set aside.
Walked, and was there at 9:35 AM, but somebody was using the recycling machine, which at least was working. However, she had a lot of stuff and filled it, so she then had to call someone to empty it and wait, and after having waited around the corner until then, inside, at that point I went around, going out through another exit and returning to wait in a spot from where I could keep an eye on that spot without standing there behind her, to know when my turn will come, which only happened at 10:05 AM. Not that those machines give even what little they used to give, considering those changes in legislation, the discount received now dropping from 0.05 RON per bottle and 0.03 RON per can, as it used to be at Auchan, though elsewhere it seemed to be 0.04 RON each, to just 0.02 RON each.
Either way, just got some bread for these days, seeing that they had increased the price for that yet again, from 6 RON / kg to 6.80 RON / kg, then got back with the 10:55 AM free bus, and after dropping off the bread I took the rest of the paper out and went to vote as well, getting there at 11:20 AM and being back out just before 11:40 AM. It was odd to see a line, and just when I was getting there an older man told others he met at the gate that there was quite a line inside and he’ll try again later, and they turned around and left as well, and as I was waiting an older woman said she won’t wait like that and also left, but I just had to wait for some 15 minutes, so I definitely don’t see why that’d be a problem. It’s not like it was what some of those living abroad had to go through, with some even waiting for ten hours only to be sent away at the end of the day…

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