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Another Record, Deposit and Annoying Talk, and Back at the Botanical Garden

Wrote most of this Monday, but since I didn’t finish it then, waited until today, to be able to post today’s run as well. Had some of those rice things to eat before going again, and the conditions seemed good enough, with a reported temperature of 28°C and not too much wind, but it’s really sunny and it felt hot, and there were some areas where I had to run against the wind, feeling it a bit at the start of the first sector, mainly on lap three, at the end of the second on lap two and, most notably, around the middle of the third, on laps one and three. And there were also some people to go around and a few cyclists rather getting in the way, especially a guy who turned right in front of me on the first sector of lap two, forcing me to briefly stop and sidestep. And I also wore that regular t-shirt I used to run in, since the running one is still in the laundry, and I’m also noticing that my right running shoe is getting increasingly worn at the back, so I guess it won’t be too long before these will start causing some problems too, but I don’t know what to do about that, seeing as it’s quite clear that my right foot is a bit smaller than my left and will cause this to happen if the shoes are the same size.
Either way, the time was 47:25.25, with sector times of 4:10.06, 4:59.88, 5:53 (5:52.39), probably 4:21.16, probably 4:59.40, 5:51 (5:50.44), 4:29 (4:28.80), 5:05.47, 5:55 (5:54.81) and 1:43 (1:42.84), making for lap times of 15:02.33, 15:11.00 and 15:29.08. I believe those times on sectors one and two of lap two are correct, but after finishing sector two I found myself uncertain about the first, not sure whether the 21 I had in mind meant a 4:21 sector time on the first sector, so a 19:23 total time at that point, or a 19:21 total time, so a 4:19 sector time. The first option seems more likely, so I’ll go with it, but I’m not sure.
Didn’t really have a target other than the usual 48:30 at first, especially after I noticed how hot it seemed, but did mean to try to stay under 48 minutes if I’ll manage a 15-minute first lap. And since it was close enough, I went for it, having some doubts after sector one of lap two but thinking that the second sector made it quite clear that I’ll manage it. Did spend much of sector three of lap two wondering about those times for the first two sectors and somehow ended up with the fastest sector three time of the day in spite of that, so on lap three I just meant to maintain a good enough pace… Until I saw how it worked out after sector two, realizing that if I really gave it everything I had a chance to even stay under 47:30, so I tried that, pushing hard on sector three and thinking I was just short of what I needed at the end of the lap, but continuing to push on that final sector and managing it after all, with a few seconds to spare too.

But enough about that, as the truly notable run was last week’s, on July 16, when I managed a new record on ten kilometers! The time was 46:09.15, with sector times of 4:08.57, 4:50 (4:49.68), 5:40.00, 4:17.43, 4:55 (4:54.48), 5:38.18, 4:17 (4:16.84), 4:52.34, 5:47 (5:46.92) and 1:45 (1:44.71), making for lap times of 14:38.25, 14:50.09 and 14:56.10, so I have no new lap or sector records, but could keep it up, this also marking the first time other than when I set my record for 16 kilometers when I managed to cover three laps in a row in less than 15 minutes. And that run’s also the one I really have to compare this one against, because my record for ten kilometers might have been 46:32, but I clearly covered that distance faster that day, the problem being that 16 kilometers mean five laps while ten mean three laps and then that final sector, to the exit, so I didn’t actually have the time at that point and could only estimate something around 46:24, give or take a few seconds. But since this is 15 seconds faster than that, it’s clearly the record.
The thing is that I didn’t aim for this at all when I started. I mean, after getting under 47 minutes twice last week and considering the good conditions, it was a possibility, but I was content with those two times, there was some wind as well, plus a few spots where I lost a bit of time due to other people, and I didn’t think of it until lap three. I did decide to see what I could do on the first lap, but had no real target until I saw that it had been the third fastest I had ever managed, at which point I decided to aim to get under 47 minutes again. It was only after sector one of lap three that the idea of a new record really got in my mind, and after sector two it was quite clear that I was going to beat that 46:32, but I needed to get below 46:20, if not even 46:15, to be really sure that I had a “real” new record. The time shows that I was starting to tire on sector three, and I was actually still on sector two when various things started hurting more, but I just pushed through it, sector three was good enough and I could also still push on that final sector, ending up with this safe margin over that estimated time… And also close enough to 46 minutes to think that a time under that may also be possible, though I don’t know when and I’m definitely not getting any younger.
At the end of sector two of lap one, under the bridge, there was a moment when I was about to pass a kid on a tricycle, who was on the bike lane, with I guess his mother taking up the space to the right of that, but a cyclist came from the opposite direction just then, going off the bike lane to go around the kid and taking up the left, leaving me to need to squeeze past on the very edge of the path, careful to avoid stepping on the sloping area leading into the water. And there were a few other places where I had to go wide to get around people, including at the very end, when going around four people walking in a line meant I couldn’t get my steps right for that sort of jump I tend to make to what I consider the “finish line” to be. Other than that, the wind was getting poplar fluff in my nose even when it wasn’t strong, and there were a few stronger gusts, I’d say most notably on sector two of lap three, maybe the start of three as well, when it suddenly got cloudy too and the wind picked up more.

After leaving at 3:40 PM, I was back from the run at 4:50 PM and then left again just after 6 PM, to a reading event in Cismigiu Park. There are also some activities scheduled, generally having to do with creative recycling and most being mainly intended for children, plus live music and documentaries, but those are only every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during this period, Monday to Thursday the area simply being open in the evening if people want to come and read there. So I wondered what that’d be like and found the place at about 7 PM, after looking around for a bit at first, since I was uncertain of the exact location, and it was 7:06 PM when I sat down and started reading the book I had brought, after glancing at the books available there, being a bit surprised to also see a few in English and French, though otherwise unsurprised that most were either meant for children or nonfiction, and old and worn.
I obviously picked the one corner without children, and the three people sitting next to me quickly got my attention, as I noticed two of them speaking French, with the other girl talking to them in English. I’m not entirely sure the guy knew English, or how well he knew it, since I believe I heard him say a few words at some point but the English-speaking girl mainly just talked to the other and there was a moment when the French-speaking girl was talking to both and switching languages just about every sentence as she alternated between them, with a fluidity that was actually rather impressive. Either way, when the obvious couple, as in those speaking French, gave up on the idea of reading, got in a tickle fight and were growling at each other and what not, they ended up making more noise than all the children, prompting me to look at them with raised eyebrows and a smirk and the other girl to point at me after she told them that they’re scaring people and was asked which people. Was tempted to tell them to find a room, or at least a bush, but of course I didn’t and they settled down after a while, the other girl calling them “kids” before starting a rapid-fire chat with the other girl that included a variant of “fuck” every third word or so from each of them. As that was going on, the guy got a call and walked away to speak, also in French, and when he got back it seemed that he had been told they had to go, the English-speaking girl quickly putting her stuff away, getting up and firmly repeating that they had to go as the other was making quite a show of being reluctant to get up.
At least it was easier to read after they left, though I didn’t stay much longer either, leaving at 7:50 PM and getting back at 8:35 PM. But they seemed rather fun, with the English-speaking girl seeming to be the “adult” of the group despite appearing the youngest, possibly even still in her teens. The whole thing also made me wonder at their relationship, whether it was a couple visiting a friend or they were a triad, the couple visiting another partner. And I actually started wondering about that quite quickly, so when, possibly even before the tickling, though I’m not certain anymore, the two French speakers tried to get a foot behind their neck and then the other girl did the same, saying that she used to be so close while seeming to me that she still was just short of managing it, I was tempted to comment that the flexibility may come in handy when they’ll get home. But I of course stayed quiet then as well.

The next day I went to make another deposit, exactly six months after the first one. It was just as small, since that was the amount I had managed to set aside again, and the original idea was to make it for just six months, to withdraw both on the same day, but considering how things look right now, I doubt that the components I’d want to get will be available at the start of 2020, some rumors stating that some may even be delayed to 2021, so even if support for Windows 7 will end in January, I’ll stick to it and to this computer a while longer anyway and could therefore get a little more from the interest. For that matter, considering the increased interest, it’d have been better to not make that first deposit and just deposit the full amount now, but the difference is negligible and the interest for six-month deposits may increase until January too, as the plan is now to make another deposit then, out of that first one and what I’ll set aside until then, just for six months, to withdraw the full amount on the same day.
Had asked dad whether he’ll come with me again and he said yes, if we’ll be back by 5 PM, but the day before he said some things had changed and we’ll have to leave at 2 PM, and to be awake and around earlier so he’ll be able to let me know if things changed yet again. So I set the alarm to 1 PM but eventually got up one hour earlier, after sleeping poorly, after 10 AM or so also due to noise from outside… Only for him to only wake up just before 2 PM, when I was all ready to leave, and when I reminded him what he had said he also reminded me that he said that things could change and told me not to pester him about being on time. So I read nine pages while he got ready, then we left and made the deposit, and while I was there I also noticed that the bank also still uses Windows 7, or at least that’s what the lock screen I saw looked like. After that, since he had given me the metro card, I went straight to the Carrefour and Kaufland at Obor, having a list of things to get for my parents and getting them, along with a few things for myself, including some cheap corn and some green onions as I went through that farmers’ market on the way back.

Since I mentioned dad, had another annoying talk with him on July 11, after I again stopped the water flowing in the toilet after he flushed. There’s also a problem that makes some water still flow all the time, and occasionally a lot of it even if you flush properly, so you have to wait to see what happens and know how to stop it if needed, but he obviously flushes in some way that causes that to happen most of the time and doesn’t care, so there are times when it keeps flowing at full force even for hours, until I get out of my room and hear it. Well, that time I told him that he needed someone to go after him and stop the water and, correctly assuming that I was referring to the environmental impact of wasting so much water in that manner, he replied by saying that there was an idea that used to be quite appreciated, that the planet’s just fine and it’s humans we should worry about. I tried to say that humans are great at making others pay the price for their actions, so by the time humans will go extinct most other species will be gone and the planet will just be a wasteland, but he just kept saying that the planet’s been fine for billions of years and will continue to sort itself out, if species vanish others will take their place and it’s only the good of humans we should think about. He was walking out of the kitchen after that, but I snapped back to say that humans are only useful if they’re good for the planet and he threw over his shoulder that what I think is my problem, that’s what he thinks and he’ll only do what’s good for him.

Getting back to the chronological order, I had scheduled myself to volunteer at the Botanical Garden again on July 18, after having been told not to come the first time, two weeks earlier. Just one other person was also scheduled, unlike that first time when there were two, but that person was that older woman who seems to be the most experienced and dedicated volunteer, as she seems to come from 3 PM every Thursday, making Thursday afternoon a very good time to go and help with whatever she needs help with, knowing that she knows where everything goes and what needs done, will usually stay later and put things away and should also have a better chance to sort things out if something doesn’t go right. For that matter, unless she’ll remove herself from the list later today, mean to do it again tomorrow, again staying only until 6 PM.
To get back to that day, meant to leave at 3:10 PM and was a couple of minutes late, but still got there a couple of minutes before 4 PM and could just walk in. Didn’t take a backpack or even my phone, choosing to wear the running pants and therefore having much less room in pockets, but had my ID card and the small badge from the inauguration of Magnolia Alley, and even one of those passes received for volunteering there before, in case that won’t be enough to get me in, since I was worried about that, not knowing what I should say or even if I’ll manage to say anything at all and not just freeze if confronted. But I just walked through the gate while a group that included someone with a t-shirt with the name of an NGO was there and just kept going, pointing in the general direction of the gift shop and telling nobody in particular that I was going that way, and nobody said a word or moved to stop me.
After reaching the gift shop, I looked around for that other volunteer and she just came out of a toilet right after I passed by it, so I asked how I could help, prompting a confused reaction, as she later explained she first thought I was the biologist. But after I said I was also a volunteer, she took me to the gift shop’s bathroom, which is actually a storage room with two sinks, not toilets as well. There, she gave me gloves and asked if I was protected, and when I pointed to my shirt with long sleeves she pointed out that she had a jacket on as well, despite the temperature, and explained that it wasn’t because of mosquitoes, but because of wasps, which had stung her badly and caused such swellings that people were running away when they saw her. I hadn’t thought of that, having just sprayed myself with that mosquito repellent before leaving, so that made me quite worried, but the wasps were fortunately not a problem that day, at least. Something did bite me though, and I have no idea whether it was a mosquito or something worse, because it’s on my right shoulder, so between the areas I had used that repellent on, and it still itches very badly and quite a large area around it is quite red. It’s also possible, in fact quite likely, that there are multiple bites close together, which may better explain the reaction.
Either way, she had laid out the hose already, having worked out a very good route for it, so it easily reached all the way to the other corner and there were still a couple of meters to spare even though Anca had said it might be a bit short and a bucket might be needed for the last couple of plants. So we turned on the water and then she showed me the shortcut to the other end, so we actually ended up beating the water, but then also realized that the pressure was very low, so I went along the hose to look for spots where it was twisted and found one, but she gestured to say that it was only so and so after I straightened it and asked whether that was better. Kept going as a result, but couldn’t find any other such spot, so even took out the other end, and then also separated it where the first two pieces are joined, to make sure that water got that far, but after struggling to put it back with the water flowing and pushing the parts away from each other, I decided to run back to her before trying the other two spots as well, and when I got there she said it was flowing normally, so I didn’t need to check any more, though I have no idea what I did to fix it.
After that, she let me use the hose, telling me how and to also wash the leaves a little to get some things out of them, and later to also quickly wash the legs of benches, and the solar ones completely, and the trash cans as well, plus a pile of rocks that’s also there, she said in order to make it more likely for something to grow between them. As I did that, she started pulling weeds out and digging around the plants a little, easily staying ahead of me, so she was past the central area when I got there, just when some people came, that guy with that t-shirt with an NGO’s name among them. Nobody had been there until then, yet they came just when I needed that place empty, so me and the other volunteer exchanged some looks and gestures, then she came to tell me to at least water the flowers around the central magnolia, then move away until the people leave. But they left right after that, so I could wash the benches and move on, and a bit later she asked to switch, so I got to dig up weeds while she watered the plants… And I was obviously really slow. I was also thorough, and she pointed out that I was really pulling out the roots, but she was quickly catching up to me and I only cleared a few meters before leaving.
It was just before 5:45 PM when we heard some music from somewhere and she asked whether there was a concert nearby, possibly thinking that it was the reason why I wanted to leave at 6 PM, telling me that I should go if I wanted to, but I said I’ll stay a little longer… Only for her to tell me again that I could go almost right away, when the alarm she had set at 5:45 PM when I first told her I’ll stay until 6 PM rang, but I stayed until 5:55 PM. Was feeling increasingly awkward though, since she kept praising me, and I understood that others which had listed themselves even failed to show up, or didn’t do much when they did come. Was about to tell her that she risked having it go to my head, but I just rather awkwardly said goodbye and went back to the gift shop to leave the gloves and wash my hands.
While I was in that bathroom, I heard the employee telling someone she was talking to on the phone something that made it seem that she was falling for a scam intended to get access to her card or account and I again wanted to say something but didn’t. She was still on the phone when I got out of the bathroom anyway, and in the other room, so I just walked out. Did have a look at a yellow cherry plum tree on my way out of the Garden, again thinking to pick some fruit, as I had kept thinking on the way there as well, looking first at the trees on the way to the metro station, but decided against it every time and came right back. Had also considered taking some money to get some apples from that farmers’ market on the way back, but had given up on that thought before leaving.

After getting back that evening, at 6:50 PM, I boiled that corn, and later I wrote the quick review for the book, which I had finished the day before, again having the version on Goodreads in both Romanian and English… And, in between, had another LED tube from the bathroom burn out. It’s the older one, not the one I recently got as a replacement, so maybe there was something wrong with that lot, but I’m also thinking that there may be something wrong with the wiring there. I had noticed something with the switch which dad said he fixed, but that might not have been the only problem, or it’s possible that it had damaged it before being fixed and then it failed for good a while later. The thing is that I had first noticed a problem with it on July 10, which was actually after a few days of getting the impression that there was less light there, what I had noticed then being that a small part of it, right in the middle, was dark. I really didn’t dare to go back there and ask for another replacement so soon though, so I hoped it’ll last a while longer… And it didn’t, and now it really burned out, as in I heard a pop and there’s a black spot there, and it really smelled of burned plastic when I took it out, so I highly doubt they’ll replace it either way. Dad told me to just buy another, and one more as a spare since they’re cheap, but I for one won’t put another one there until he figures out how to check things to make sure nothing’s wrong, so for now we’re left with half the light, and hoping that one won’t burn out as well.

The following day I got up at 9:40 AM and decided to go to Auchan early, since I really needed tea and wanted a better chance to find some of that bread too. So I quickly grabbed something to eat and was out at 10:25 AM, taking the free bus, in which one woman seemed to be coughing her lungs out, so I hope I didn’t catch anything. Either way, did find tea and bread, and some of those rice things at a good enough price again, and then walked to Supeco. Didn’t find what I was looking for there though, so I then went to that store from that farmers’ market, trying to go straight instead of taking the longer route that I knew and actually managing to end up exactly where I wanted for once. Still didn’t see any more of that bio (organic) yogurt though, so just got the regular one again, then walked back, getting back here at 12:40 PM.
Less than three hours later, a bit before 3:30 PM, I was going out again, with a list of things to buy for my mother. Checked prices on Auchan’s site first and a few things did end up being cheaper there, but only slightly and since I hadn’t been given the list in time to know about those things when I had been there earlier, I took the recyclables out and just went to Carrefour and Kaufland, getting everything from there. Also got two expiring small yogurts of a kind I hadn’t seen before from Carrefour, since I was curious, but when I looked it up I saw that they’ve been around for quite some time, just that major stores don’t carry them, Carrefour supposedly being the only one, though I can’t say I recall having seen them there before either. Either way, was back around 5:50 PM, but only crawled in bed for a nap at 8:10 PM and barely got one hour of sleep even then, getting up to pee at 9:15 PM and then still feeling like I needed to go, which sometimes happens when I’m exhausted. Stayed in bed, but there was no way to get back to sleep, so I eventually got up after some loud noise from outside, seeing that it was 10:17 PM when I did so.

As for July 20, there was a weird issue with Vivaldi, when I was using it to open a number of sites for that day’s post and it again stopped loading pages at one point, and it wouldn’t start again after I closed it directly, without first closing the tabs, not even the one that refused to load at all and the one that was probably partially loaded. Been doing that recently, no longer loading until I closed it and opened it again, but it hadn’t done it for several days at that point and it definitely never refused to start after doing it, though I believe I always got it down to a single blank tab, since it wouldn’t load the homepage either, before closing it. Either way, when I tried to open it again after that, I saw many processes, more than normal, starting, but nothing appearing except an empty window outline. Eventually fixed it by downloading the installer again and running it, which it recognized as an update, so it’s possible that it was a good thing that I hadn’t installed the latest one before then, and after that it started normally again. Interface language was oddly set to Afrikaans in settings, but everything else seemed fine.

The timed squats during this period were 2:30 on July 9, 2:27 on July 11, 2:25 on July 14, 2:37 on July 15, 2:24 and 2:30 on July 17, since I had skipped the previous day, 2:29 on July 18 and 2:33 on July 21. And since I’m going quickly through days in this paragraph, I’ll also mention here that on July 9 I noticed a couple more double middle clicks, but that it was the only time I noticed that during this period, that Google Analytics again reported no visits in either view on July 17, and that I tried that game on Carrefour’s site again on July 10, the last day of the campaign, and it worked again, actually allowing me to use all receipts I hadn’t been able to play with, recognizing which was which, replacing the zeroes with the scores obtained then and only marking them as used after that, but I still didn’t win anything anyway.

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