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LED Tube, Botanical Garden, New Headphones

Slept poorly today, after Liza again started meowing like the feline equivalent of an abandoned puppy as soon as dad left, at 9:30 AM. With some dishes to wash and a note from dad asking me to give her some food too, I did that and then got on the computer and ended up submitting the credits for The Müll Littoral, since the game itself had been approved on MobyGames yesterday. While making sure I had everything in the screenshots taken, I found a video with the game’s proper, secret ending and downloaded it again to quickly check that it really existed, then looked at a few more things and crawled back in bed around 11:20 AM, but I had a hard time getting back to sleep, just occasionally, and briefly, drifting off until around 1:30 PM, though I believe I managed to sleep for one hour after that, and eventually got up around 2:50 PM. But I really should write this now, to avoid another Sunday update, so let’s see how it’ll go. Did do two series of squats while writing it though, since I skipped yesterday, with the first being done in 2:19 and the second in 2:23.

Slept badly Tuesday morning as well, waking up several times to pee after making mamaliga again, but the plan was to get another LED tube, since dad said he has no motivation to try to see what’s going on with the lights in the bathroom without one he’ll be able to actually use as soon as he’ll do something. However, before going to bed that morning I checked and saw a review, posted hours earlier, for the store I meant to go to again, the one I had purchased nearly all other LEDs from, stating that it no longer exists, and after sending them a message to ask about that, after waking up I saw a reply confirming that the physical store had been closed and they’ll only take orders. And since that would have meant spending more for shipping than for the tube itself, I checked another such store I knew of, which was actually the one I first considered when I was thinking of this plan to replace as many lights as I can around here with LEDs, and saw that they actually had a 40% discount for LED tubes these days, which got the price close enough to the otherwise extremely cheap ones from the other store.
The problem was that those had also closed the store I knew of, apparently back in September, and while a blog post written at the time stated that in October they were to open another one, which they claimed would have a larger showroom as well, that was almost outside the city and was closing at 4 PM! Still, I actually had much less to walk from the nearest metro station than I’d have had to get to that store I got the rest from, so I had a good chance if I rushed, which I did, meaning to leave at 2 PM but just managing to do so at 2:15 PM, after getting back once, since I realized when I got outside that I had forgotten the metro card.
It was a completely failed trip, however, starting from getting out of the metro station through the wrong exit, going farther than I should have through the tunnel. That obviously led to being confused, as what I was seeing didn’t match the map I had seen before leaving, and I first tried to go one way, quickly turned around and tried another way, went all around an area, got back to that exit and tried the first way again, going somewhat farther and spotting a street name I recognized from a long time ago. That finally made me realize what I had done and find the proper way, and from there it wasn’t a problem to find the right street. However, finding the store was a completely different matter. I hadn’t written down the address either and couldn’t seem to remember the number anymore, but I assumed I’ll spot some sort of sign, which wasn’t the case.
The numbers on that street are very weird too, jumping back and forth, sometimes both even and uneven on the same side, and some even on a separate road branching away from it, so I went all the way to the end, came back, also checked that road… It would appear that a gated community is being built there, but the gate was wide open, so I went in to look, ignored a dog that sounded quite angry, since it was behind a fence, but then I heard another one growling menacingly closer to me, and turned to see it about a meter away from me. There was another one on the side of the road as well, I had missed them since they were partially hidden by bushes and I was looking for store signs, and while that other one didn’t seem to care, this one had taken a few steps to come after me and the situation didn’t look good. But I first looked right at it as I took a few more steps, and when I saw that it had stopped when it saw me looking, I turned away again and kept walking at the same pace, trying to show that I’m not intimidated but not challenging it either. When I looked again, I saw that it had returned to its spot, next to the other one, so I turned around as well and went back out of that area, using the other sidewalk and being relieved that there was a pole just in that spot, so I could have it between me and them as well. Looked a bit more after that, but since I still couldn’t spot any sign and when I checked the time it was 3:54 PM anyway, I gave up.

Since I had to change trains at Basarab anyway, went out there and checked out that Kaufland first, seeing the discount I had seen advertised by Carrefour for a certain kind of yogurt there as well. But they only had one left, and it looked like it had been kicked around too, so I then walked to the big Carrefour from that area, and saw that it was actually a little bit more expensive there. But I found a pile of discounted, expiring ones of some better kinds, and saw that they were still doing it the old way there, with the prices for these expiring products listed on each one and the discounts being higher, especially for the more expensive ones, instead of this general 50% discount that they recently switched to in their other locations, though I guess it’s also possible that they gave up on that idea these days, as I haven’t been to any other location since then to check. Either way, got some of those instead, keeping the discount code for 10 RON which I had obtained for taking a survey for them for later, since those were much less than that. And then I also got another Paysafecard code, for that plan I mentioned, though I walked right past the machine at first, getting to the exit, walking past it again on the way back, turning back again from the other exit, and finally spotting it the third time.
It was 5:50 PM when I got to the metro station here, and with the next free bus for Auchan supposed to arrive around 6:05 PM, I mostly ran to quickly drop off the yogurts before leaving again. However, I also dropped off the receipts, and then decided to leave dad a quick note as well, since he was out at the time, and this caused me to leave the notebook I usually have with me, with the metro card in it, on the kitchen table without realizing it. I just rushed back out, catching the free bus, found that yogurt for slightly less than even at Kaufland, confirming that the discount was enforced by the manufacturer everywhere, and got four large cups, plus the cat food I needed to get from there. Then I rushed out, since my bus had already left but those leaving ten minutes later were about to come, and it was only then that I noticed the missing notebook, as I tried to put the receipt in it and couldn’t. Still, realized that I could have left it on the table, so didn’t panic as much as I otherwise would have, and got back with that bus. Interestingly, there was just one other person it in and the driver asked us where we wanted to get off, and after dropping me off as well he just turned right back, not going the rest of the route, so anyone waiting for a bus to get to that other location was left waiting.
After being dropped off there, considered going to that Carrefour from the park, but didn’t want to wander around with the yogurts in that heat, so first walked back to drop off the stuff, and also get my notebook back, being relieved that it was there. Was definitely not certain that I wanted to go back out at that point, but eventually decided to go to that Carrefour after all, leaving at 7:20 PM, thinking that sometimes there are unusually cheap apples there too, and the farmers’ market is nearby as well, so if I really rush I may have a chance to find something there too on the way back. But I wasn’t that fast, as I first got cabbage and carrots and those added up to only 5.33 RON, so I still needed something else to use that code, and that continued to be the case after picking up something I tend to occasionally get, as at that point I was at 9.98 RON and was worried that the cashier will say the machine won’t let her apply a discount higher than the total. So I added another carrot, getting to 10.04 RON, but found I only had 0.03 RON in small change, so looked for another coin for a bit, before realizing that I could just tear out a little bit of one cabbage, a bit I wasn’t going to use anyway, and weigh it again. It was too late for the farmers’ market by then though, so I walked back, getting here at 8:45 PM.

After all of that, I still needed that LED tube, and Thursday I went back there for it. Had asked about the exact location and they apologized for the difficulties, said everybody gets confused there and they haven’t yet obtained the approval for a lit sign, and that it’s the building right next to that gated community that’s being built, so I was quite sure I couldn’t miss it again. And I didn’t, leaving at 2:10 PM and being back, with the LED tube, at 4:45 PM, after waiting a total of more than 25 minutes at the metro. However, I definitely didn’t find it because I spotted any sort of indication that a store was there, as not only that they don’t even have a piece of paper, or even a little sticker, to say so, but the building is surrounded by a tall fence and the gate is closed, and you need to use the intercom for it to be unlocked, so it’s quite obvious that they don’t expect or, for that matter, want anyone coming there directly. And the woman who answered definitely seemed surprised that somebody did come, and then she led me past a space which I guess could be a showroom but which was in no way ready to receive any customers and into the storage room. Then she tried to find what I was looking for, but then asked me to show her what I had seen on the site, to look for the part number, and I asked whether she could open the site there, since I couldn’t, and she opened it on her phone and I pointed to the item, so she could then search for the part number and eventually find it and hand it to me… And then she left me there to go get the change. But at least I got the tube, though it seems different, needing to be powered on one specific end, so we’ll see how it works.

Had scheduled myself to volunteer at the Botanical Garden again that day as well, from 6 PM, and did go, though Anca had posted a message in the morning stating that the area had been badly flooded and help was needed, but rubber boots were mandatory. If that really was the case, I couldn’t go, not having any, but I asked before leaving to get that LED tube and when I came back I saw that she had said that some areas were accessible without boots by then. So I left just before 5:10 PM and was at the gate at 5:50 PM, finding a lot of mud in front of the gift shop but being told that it was quite fine at that point, compared to how it had been earlier. As I had suspected, one of the huge pipes on that hill had burst, and it had actually happened the previous evening, with Eszter, this being this volunteer who comes very often, and the girl from the gift shop staying there until 10 PM to try to limit the damage. And this is apparently something that has happened several times before, though it’s the first time this year, and at least this time it was just cold water, while in the past it had been hot as well, or mixed with something toxic that killed the plants in that area. I was also told that they were not allowed to clean that area, since more pictures were to be taken the next day, to assess the damage and determine what the water company should pay for it.
Under those circumstances, and with them there since morning, there was little left for me to do by then, and Eszter instead showed me the state of the area we’d normally work in and told me where I could start weeding if I wanted to, but said that I won’t have too much time, as it was already around 6:20 PM by the time I was starting and the girl from the gift shop definitely won’t stay past 8 PM again, and in fact may want to leave a bit earlier, so I should make sure to be back in time to change and wash before then. So I did what I could, clearing a pretty small area but at least doing so thoroughly, and doing my best to avoid the ants, though I guess some did get on me, as I later found several bites around my left ankle, and today noticed a couple around the right one as well, and they do indeed look like ant bites. Eszter was full of all sorts of bites on her arms, on the other hand, and that’s what I saw, since who knows how many she had elsewhere as well. Either way, when the bucket I had got filled with weeds, I went to dump it and saw that it was already 7:21 PM, so just worked a bit more and got back to the gift shop at 7:30 PM, when Eszter was just leaving.
The girl working there started closing pretty much right away, as I heard her lock and turn on alarms as I was changing and arranging my things, and at 7:40 PM she asked how was I doing with that, so I just quickly washed a bit and left with her… Only for her to ask whether I also took what Eszter had left me, two bananas and one candy, insisting that I had to take them, and that she had been given some as well so I can’t leave them for her, when I didn’t want to. Said that such things make me feel bad, but she just said that it’s just how Eszter is, an awesome person who just likes to spread joy that way, and I ended up taking them after all. Leaving the bananas for dad, of course.

From there I went to that bigger Carrefour again, and when I got out of it, with the things I bought from there, I might have still had a chance to get back in time for the start of the match, at 9:30 PM. But I first went out through the wrong exit, being used to use that one, so had to go all around that place to go the other way, to that Kaufland at Basarab, since I wanted toilet paper as well. Should have gotten some of those things Liza is addicted to as well, but it was 8:55 PM when I got there and rushed, forgetting about that, being at the checkout before 9:05 PM. However, after that I got confused at the metro, getting in on the wrong side, with too little time before the next train to go out and back in on the right side. Of course, I was going to catch the train after the next either way, but instead of risking to mess things up even more, and since it was also hard to carry the stuff, including a watermelon and the toilet paper, I just waited there for the train going in the opposite direction, took it for one stop, then waited for the correct one there, losing a good eight minutes in the process and only ending up back here at 9:50 PM.

As for yesterday, should also mention that I noticed two more double middle clicks, and there might have been two more today as well, though I’m not entirely certain about that. But the day’s plan at first only involved picking up the new headphones which I had ordered the previous evening, a little before midnight. With the state of my current ones, which even started visibly harming my right ear in recent months, I was looking for a replacement for a while, in fact since last year, but couldn’t find anything checking all the right boxes that didn’t cost a completely ridiculous amount so far. Had even considered just getting some cheap ones, to have something for a while, but those went out of stock shortly after I noticed them and I moved my attention to the SteelSeries Arctis 1, which were pretty much at the upper end of my price range. But I remained unconvinced due to the earpads, kept looking, and saw a sale that included the Arctis 3, with its price coming down to that of the Arctis 1 in that store, but also the HyperX Cloud Alpha, actually for a few RON less… And I eventually ended up ordering these just before the sale ended, even though that guy I’ve been exchanging some messages on GOG.com with recommended the Cooler Master MH751 after I told him what I was looking for. Do admit that those really seem to check all the right boxes, but there was something that made me less convinced as well and at the moment they’re not on sale and that store that also allows extended warranty to be purchased for such headphones doesn’t sell them directly, only a store from Bulgaria selling some through them, and if I am to spend so much on headphones I will get extended warranty as well, and I did for these ones.

But that was the original plan, and I only managed to pick them up with minutes to spare because I first went to the Botanical Garden again. Dad said he won’t need the metro card in the afternoon and with Eszter asking if I couldn’t come more often at least now while it’s still hot, I listed myself as coming at 5 PM, dug those clothes worn there out of the laundry basket, sprayed myself just about all over, though that spray isn’t against ants as well, and rushed out. It was after 4:15 PM when I left, but the metro came right away and I was at the gate a few minutes before 5 PM, again walking right in. The cashier had been outside the day before and looked at me, though she waved me through as soon as I said I was a volunteer, but yesterday nobody was outside and nobody came out after me, though it is likely that they remembered me.
Someone else had been there in the morning, but in the evening I was alone. In spite of that, since nobody had watered the day before and only a relatively small part of that area had been flooded and therefore didn’t need more water just yet, I decided to struggle with the hose. And I do mean struggle with it, since I spent more time doing that than actually using it, and when I did use it the pressure was low and I couldn’t figure out why. It also seemed to have been rolled on those things backwards, but it may be that I did something wrong, though it definitely makes sense to do it the way I struggled to, even if it required fighting and carrying it, and I actually checked the instructions sent by Anca again after getting back and this way is what I understand from there as well. Did try to roll out the second half from the other end, joining them in the middle after that, but it was a struggle either way and it definitely didn’t end once I did that, as the pressure dropped to almost nothing shortly after I started watering and I couldn’t figure out why, running back and forth, making a few small changes, getting a lot of mud on my shoes in the process as I went through a muddy area several times… That area in front of the store had been cleaned, at least, but using the path would have required going around each time, and I was losing too much time already. It was also in order to not lose more time that I decided not to take those things the hose is rolled on back inside, instead placing them in a spot I could see while watering.
I’m not sure whether it was after or even before this period of trying to figure out the reason for the loss of pressure that I checked the time and saw 6:30 PM, meaning that I had been struggling with it for well over one hour already. Either way, after trying everything I could think of, it seemed like the last remaining possibility was that the last part was coiling in some way that caused that to happen, even though I couldn’t see any particularly tight coils, so I resigned myself to doing what I could with that low pressure until I reached the place where that half’s two halves join together, at which point I took it apart and discarded that last part. However, the pressure didn’t improve by much, and in fact it was low enough that I didn’t have much of a problem to connect the end to it there, the water not pushing it away. Still, by the time the alarm I had set for 7:15 PM rang, I almost reached the place where the two halves of the hose join together, even if that was due to the fact that some scavenger hunt, or something of the sort, was organized there that evening, with that central area, with the main magnolia and the solar benches, as the central location, so I avoided it completely and continued watering on the other path, being able to get farther on it only because of that.
After the alarm rang, I just quickly got to a spot that I could describe better and then turned off the water and started gathering the hose, joining the second half’s two halves together again and rolling it back on that thing well enough until I got to that spot. Once I did, however, I saw what a bad move it had been to leave that part of the hose in a pile, and then carry it back like that in order to join it to the other part again where I had stopped, because it was awfully tangled and I lost a lot of time fighting with it. There were some spots where it was coiled in a worrying way as well, so I definitely hope there was no damage, and when I finally managed to finish rolling it back on that thing I saw that it was 7:52 PM!
With the gift shop closing at 8 PM, I pretty much ran back… And found the door locked. But the lights were still on, and the girl came out of the bathroom and unlocked the door for me again, so at least she was still there then. But I still had the other half of the hose to deal with, and told her I hadn’t yet managed to gather it and apologized for it, but also said that it was stretched out, not tangled like this part had been, so it should be done faster. She said it was all right, but I nevertheless ran back and rushed to gather it, things indeed going much faster despite still feeling that I was doing it backwards in order to put it back on that thing the same way it had been. Still, it was obviously after 8 PM when I rushed back with it, so I just quickly changed my pants and threw what I had been wearing in the backpack, very quickly washed my hands and face a little and left, apologizing again.

Was walking out of the gift shop at 8:15 PM and needed to pick up the headphones by 9 PM, so I had absolutely no time to waste and ran to the metro station after crossing the street in front of the Botanical Garden. Kept calculating the time on the train as well, but it was looking better and knew that if I’ll get to Titan station at 8:50 PM I’ll be absolutely fine. And I was walking out of that station at 8:49 PM, and by 8:55 PM I had the headphones. Got here at 9:15 PM, after taking a little more time while going through this park to clean what was left of the mud a little better off my shoes, and went straight into the shower. Didn’t unpack the headphones that evening, and in fact I’m yet to do so, which I guess means I’ll leave it for tomorrow and still use these old ones tonight as well. Of course, I’m also delaying because I’m feeling quite rotten for spending so much on them, and very uncertain of my choice, especially considering that recommendation I received, and returning them is still an option. But I hope they’ll be fine and last a very long time and I’ll end up being content with my choice, at least eventually. I mean, I was very unhappy when I bought the old ones, but ended up using them for close to nine and a half years.

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