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Bitdefender, New (Electronic) Books, Venetica and Two Runs

Last Friday I just quickly checked a few things after waking up and then finally restored the system from that older backup, also taking the opportunity to uninstall Flash after the updater supposedly ran twice but nothing happened, then reinstalled the updates and Venetica. Somewhat oddly, Comodo Firewall took issue with Venetica this time around and I hadn’t changed the setting to make prompts time out after ten seconds, and it just seemed to be in a loop, not forcing the program to close eventually, so after a while I tried to terminate it blindly, but whatever I actually did froze the system completely, requiring a hard reset. Since that was before making another backup, I was, and still am, worried that there might be issues carrying over, but it is what it is, and still have that older one as well, in case of need. And both are “clean” at least, since I only started the trial of Bitdefender Antivirus the next day… And that has certainly gotten even worse, as now I see I can’t even permanently disable automatic update checks, can at most do it until reboot, and that’s on top of still not being able to set it to prompt in case it thinks it finds something. And there are other oddities with the advanced threat prevention, the first being that it completely, and silently, blocks Vivaldi from starting unless it’s added to exceptions there. But at least it doesn’t seem to cause other problems with it once that’s done, at least so far…
But I mentioned Venetica, and since I did properly start it after installing it that day, the first thing I want to do now is keep playing. And the third thing, which I don’t necessarily want to do so much but know I really should, is finally finish Kingmaker, since taking another break definitely won’t help and I should be close to the end. But there’s something else in between, the second thing, and that’s to continue reading Elantris, which I started Monday, after I ended up getting it, Warbreaker and Free-Wrench Collection: Volume 1 last Wednesday, using the $10 credit I found myself receiving last month, possibly because I seem to recall syncing the Kindle software when I read Swallowtail and Sword. Couldn’t figure out why I received that then at first, especially since it was weeks later, so changed the password as well, but it may make sense in that case, since it’s possible that I had never clicked that before. And, either way, I eventually decided to use $9.44 of that credit for those three, and I may grab some classic with what remains. Or maybe not, since I’m not usually interested in classics and those things are actually free otherwise, but that amount will expire by the end of the month anyway.

Since I mentioned last Wednesday, had to get bread then, and before I left dad said that we were running low on that cat food that became hard to find. So I took out the recyclables and walked to Auchan, also checking a Mega Image on the way and more or less intentionally losing a fair bit of time after deciding to go to Supeco first, crossing through a park, ending up going almost straight through instead of diagonally and then turning the wrong way once I was on the other side. Realized it quickly, but decided to keep going and explore a bit, using it as an excuse to get back too late to still have the time to restore from that backup that day. So I checked prices at Supeco, then also had a look through that Penny Market that’s next to Auchan there, then finally went to Auchan and got what I wanted from there, though the cat food was the new kind, and there seem to be some differences on top of the fact that it now has 85 grams instead of 100 but costs the same, since even now Liza keeps looking oddly at it and waiting for some time before finally giving in and eating. But she eventually does eat, at least.
Getting back to that day, just bought one bread of the kind I prefer, and two small ones of another kind that had no price listed. Since you can’t check the price for those yourself, I asked an employee and she rather seemed at a loss before telling me a price… Which price proved to be wrong, being lower than the actual one, but I bought them anyway, since I couldn’t find the other cheaper kind that I used to get. Then I walked back to Supeco and got the few things I wanted to get from there, and it was only when I walked out of there and was arranging things in my bags that I realized I had forgotten to get garbage bags from Auchan, and the kind we’re using are their brand, so they’re only available there… Or they used to be, because they don’t seem to be making them anymore, but since I hadn’t even looked, I didn’t know that then. Decided to leave it for another time though, which also meant not going back to use Auchan’s free bus either, since it’d have felt strange to walk back there and not check, but going in with all those purchases would have been an issue as well, since they don’t have cabinets, so I just walked back, getting back here at 7:10 PM.

The next day I went to the Botanical Garden again, leaving just before 3:20 PM and not running to or from the metro station, having too much in my pockets for that, which led to me reaching the gate at 4:01 PM. Had seen in the file that the gift shop schedule had changed again, closing at 6 PM, but checked the Garden’s site as well and saw that as of October 16 the closing time is 5 PM, so I asked at the gate and was told that it is indeed 5 PM, and that it applies for the gift shop as well, leaving me to think that I’ll barely have time to do anything. That wasn’t quite the case, however, since I asked the guy at the gift shop as well and he said it’ll close at 6 PM, which at least allowed me to do a little work. It still wasn’t much, since I wanted to rake as well, at least to finish the first alley, which had been worked on up to a point, but I first carried away the piles of leaves left from the day before, then swept the rest of that first alley and the central area, and that took up all the time I had, just managing to take those leaves away as well and get back to the gift shop to return the tools and wash my hands in time to leave just moments before 6 PM.
Ended up with a bit of a blister on my right hand, but other than that, the one weird moment had to do with the fact that I had left the rake behind while sweeping, and as I was getting close to finishing I saw a guy and two little girls walking to that spot and one of the girls picking it up and fooling around with it, so I walked straight to them, broom in hand and with what was intended to be a mix of a stern and questioning attitude, which seemed to be enough, as she put it down as soon as she saw me and the guy led them away, telling me that she “didn’t break anything, just did some craziness there” as they walked past.

Walked to the Auchan from that area after that, looking for garbage bags and more bread and finding neither. But I had checked the site first and had seen those bags listed as available only in two other locations, so took the metro and went to one. Actually, waited for the second train, since the first was overcrowded, but that second one, which came five minutes later, was quite full as well. And I got off one stop early, being uncertain of the exact route from the nearest stop, which also meant that I walked past a bakery on the way and had a look inside, making a mental note to perhaps get some bread from there if I still won’t find any at Auchan and will walk back. But things got a bit tricky after that, since I was reaching that area where that Auchan is at 7:30 PM but it’s a huge area with many stores, with the first one separated from the rest by a fence, and I somehow lost sight of the signs listing the other stores and assumed I had passed that entrance, turning back and going through that first store’s parking lot and ending up losing seven minutes before I got back on the road, after seeing that there was no way through that fence.
When I eventually reached that Auchan, I also noticed another one of those pet shops there, so I went in there first and saw a few more of the old kind of that cat food. Didn’t buy them then, first going into Auchan, still not finding those bags or the bread and just ending up getting some tea and some other kind of bags, using the self-checkout without problems, but I did go back for them after that, getting all seven that were left… And cutting my left hand in the corner of one, so I ended up struggling to avoid giving bloody money to the cashier.
Was wondering whether to walk back from there, being certain to reach that bakery again, or use a free bus and risk missing the stop, but since the bus I knew I needed, after having checked the routes when I got there, was just getting to the station at the same time I was, I just rushed to it, also hitting my head as I went in… And, of course, I missed that stop, so gave up on the idea of getting bread from there and went all the way to the Cora from that area, thinking to get bread from there instead.
Well, I did get off in the right place, but wasn’t sure how to get to the entrance for Cora from there, and I guess that instead of taking a few steps one way I ended up walking around that place for some time, before returning and finally finding a way in. But at least I found some bread I could get… And then spent quite some time in line, with few checkouts still open at that hour and plenty of people. Went to those for people with few products, but one of the two closed just as it’d have been my turn, the guy that ended up in front of me at the other one had plenty of products and also wanted to pay using two cards plus cash, and the paper roll finished just as it was my turn as well. Also saw I think 150 RON on the floor as I was waiting, next to an old woman standing in another line, and asked whether they were hers and she picked them up, though I have no idea whether they actually were hers or not.
After eventually leaving, I sort of followed someone out of there and ended up exiting on another side, so neither the one I had used to go in nor the one I was actually aiming for, and not realizing it, walking for a while and wondering why wasn’t I getting to the metro station already, until it was clear that I won’t be finding any metro station that way and turning back, finally reaching it at 9:35 PM. That wasn’t it for the mess, however, since I somehow “managed” to fall up the escalator when I was changing trains at Dristor. Hit my toes a little as I tripped, hit my elbows worse against the sides when I tried to catch myself, and since I failed to do that, scraped my knees a fair bit, and my hands a little more as well. Eventually got back at 10:20 PM, but that spot that bothered me after covering another half marathon distance, where I was worried about the start of a stress fracture, was definitely not happy with that fall, and it hurt a fair bit as I was walking back. But it got better since then.

Sunday I decided to go get onions, so I left at 1:35 PM and was back a bit before 3:10 PM. Took out the recyclables, including the stuff I take to Kaufland, but went to Carrefour first… And caught a spider web on the way, and I’m not sure whether I still had bits of it on me on the way back or I caught a second one then as well. Either way, left those things behind the cabinets and got some more of those croissants for dad… And dropped them as I was waiting in line, since I hadn’t taken a basket. That led first to an older woman offering to help and handing me a plastic bag to put them in, which I quite angrily told her to take away, moving a bit away as well, to make it clear that I wanted to sort things out on my own and definitely not use even more plastic. But apparently it wasn’t clear enough, since after she walked away, another woman came and also handed me a plastic bag, which I refused even more angrily, turning away again. An employee stopped next to me then, coming to that computer that they have there, and I heard a “hello?” after a few seconds, but I ignored her, tried to calm down and eventually managed to gather them again. Then I grabbed those things that may or may not be recyclable again, dropped them off at Kaufland, and got onions from there, using the self-checkout without any problems. Picked up a few coins I found, but that was less than 0.20 RON and I left a total of probably around 0.50 RON where they were for some reason.

The more concerning thing that happened Sunday, however, was that my back started hurting in the evening. And then, after struggling to find a less uncomfortable position to sleep in, at some point Monday morning I had quite a bad dream as well, something about a bad flu or something of that sort and my mother sneaking into my room to perform some ritual while I was sleeping. Recalled something about the numbers 27 and 38, 27 apparently being my age when that was happening, and the whole thing left me both furious and frightened. Nevertheless, the plan was to run that day and I meant to do so if at all possible, so I eventually got up at 2:30 PM, had the usual stuff I have before a run except the sweets, for which I used some more of those raisins in chocolate, which I mixed with the yogurt and cereals, and went out a bit after 4:10 PM. The reported temperature was 25°C, it was sunny and there was hardly any wind, but my back still hurt when I moved in certain ways, my knees were scraped and I was still worried about that possible potential for a stress fracture, so I was thinking that 48 minutes would be great, 48:30 good enough, and I might even take a worse time if necessary. Instead, I ended up with a new second fastest time on a ten-kilometer run, if not necessarily over the distance, 46:24.86, with sector times of 4:24.11, 4:56.04, 5:41.33, 4:19 (4:18.71), 4:53.37, 5:36.31, 4:21 (4:20.90), 4:53 (4:52.40), 5:37.54 and 1:44.15, making for lap times of 15:01.48, 14:48.39 and 14:51 (14:50.84)!
There were some people in the park and, while it was usually just a matter of weaving or going the long way around, I probably lost a little more time than I otherwise would have because of them, since I was always careful when turning right and tried to avoid sudden moves, being careful with my back even though it didn’t hurt while I ran, and in fact got much better after that. The only more notable moment was on sector two of lap one, when a kid was pretending to be asleep on his bicycle, weaving a lot and ending up blocking my path completely just as he ended up in front of me, so I had to briefly stop and go around. But, after a cautious first sector, I was already pushing on that second one, and even more from the third, and just kept doing so all the way to the end. On lap two I was wondering if I’ll manage to complete it in less than 15 minutes, after being so close on the first, but still assumed lap three was going to be slower and was only thinking that maybe I had a chance to get under 47:30. But I could just keep pushing, and there was also a pretty fast guy who ended up in front of me towards the end of sector two of lap three, so I had a target to overtake and then stay ahead of, and after that sector I was certain of getting under 47 minutes and wondering about 46:30. Highly doubted it even at the end of the lap, but in the end I managed it with a good five seconds to spare.

Went to bed at 4:30 AM that night, but I’ll make this the “odds and ends” section and mention that, after I showered that evening, the remaining bathroom LED tube died too, after having been blinking in one spot for a few days. Temporarily replaced it with the one from the small bathroom, but I’m still waiting for dad to see what the problem is there, to make them burn out one after the other like this. Otherwise, the timed squats during this period were 2:18 on October 19, 2:22 on October 20, in the kitchen again, 2:20 on October 22 and 2:22 today.
I’ll also mention here that I went to Auchan two more times, Tuesday and yesterday. Tuesday I had to go for cat litter and realized that the free bus would come soon after I got up, so I just got dressed, peed and went out just after 12:15 PM, catching the one going to the other location, which came a few minutes later. Added just two biscuits, which I could cover from what change I still had, but when I went back out I saw that I had just missed even that other bus, leaving ten minutes later, so I went back in to stand around for some 20 more minutes and then went back out to catch the one dropping me off right here. As for yesterday, we were going to need detergent soon and I saw on the site that they finally had a somewhat good price on the largest bag, containing 13 kg, again, so I went out again at 7:45 PM. Meant to use the free bus again, but the one heading for the main location didn’t show up at all and the one going the other way didn’t stop when I crossed the road when I saw it coming and waved. So I ended up walking to the usual location and getting the detergent, but with ten minutes until the next bus at that point, I didn’t like my chances, so I decided to get a couple more things and stand around for a while longer before heading to the checkout. And I’d say that was a good thing, since I reached the bus stop eight minutes after leaving the checkout area, carrying that bag. Admittedly, took it slowly and stopped twice, but I doubt it could have taken me less than five even if I’d have rushed, and I still have to watch my back.

Mentioned above that I went out again yesterday because that was after running again, making use of this great weather to add to the buffer. Got up at 1:30 PM, a guy who visited dad still being here then but leaving just a couple of minutes later, so I could start getting ready quickly. Also quickly got even more annoyed, when dad said my mother will be here next week, while he’ll be away and I hoped to just be alone. But I had a goal and focused on it, having the same things as two days before and going out at 3:55 PM. The reported temperature was 22°C, it was again sunny and there was no wind to speak of, I really can’t recall the last time I really didn’t feel anything like that, but I felt a bit tired from the start, that scrape on my left knee still bothered me a bit, my right hip sent me a few warnings early on as well, even if that didn’t last long, and there were more people as well. Still, while not like Monday’s, 47:17.46 is still a very good time, and the sector times were 4:23.00, 5:02.71, 5:47 (5:46.43), 4:23.71, 4:56 (4:55.50), 5:46.29, 4:24 (4.23.55), 4:54.59, 5:52 (5:51.68) and 1:50.00, making for lap times of 15:12.14, 15:05.50 and 15:10 (15:09.82). During the first lap, and even the first two sectors of the second, I was thinking I’d do well to even stay under 48 minutes, but sector three of lap two made me think of 47:30, knowing I’ll have to push hard for that and doing so right away, from the start of lap three, ending up aiming to be less than a minute slower than Monday after sector two of lap three and managing that in the end.
Other than weaving and going the long way around, also had to squeeze past people a few times and a dog went for my legs on the very first sector, I think even touching my pants before being pulled away, which probably led to me losing a few seconds, likely more on the next sector than on that one, as I was trying to see whether it had managed to tear them, albeit without stopping. Did briefly stop and sidestep on sector three of lap two, when I was going through a pretty narrow space, with people with kids on either side, and a cyclist coming from the opposite direction was aiming for the same opening. I would have had time to clear the way for him if I’d have reacted immediately, but I again had a brief “deer in headlights” moment and that resulted in needing to quickly get out of the way in that manner. And then there was a roadblock on sector three of lap three. Actually, there was an odd moment just before it, with a young couple, when I’m not sure whether she tried to step in my way and he pulled her back or he was the one who pushed her, but she was laughing and I managed to avoid her, yet just as I got past them I had other people on one side and a guy with a dog on either side, coming from the opposite direction, on the other, leaving no room and forcing me to briefly stop before being able to get through.


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