Monday I started The Way of Kings, so now I’d rather get back to reading, and also to playing Ascension to the Throne, and did so as I wrote this, on and off, over two days, before posting it on the third. Not sure what the week’s second post will be at this point, and after two non-personal posts last week I could afford to split this and get away with two personal ones this week, but maybe I’ll figure something out by Sunday evening. Not that it matters, of course, and while I’m at it I’ll also mention here that I had two days with no visits in the period covered by this post, January 30 and February 2.
Speaking of February 2, I noticed at least two more double middle clicks that day, the first ones in a long time, and it’s possible that there were actually three or four, and it also seems to miss scrolling up more frequently, though it may also be the fact that I’m paying more attention, and the warranty expired by now anyway, so that’s that. On the other hand, did something to my back again before going to bed that morning, and I had to be careful all day. It wasn’t too bad, and it got better after that, but I still feel something there, so still need to be at least somewhat careful.
February 2 was also a day when I timed my squats again, doing them in 2:16. Another such day was January 25, when the time was 2:11, but the most notable one was January 31, when I managed 2:02, beating the previous record by four seconds! And what’s more surprising is how easily I managed that, and that I did it in the kitchen, while slipping a bit as well! When I looked at the time at 50 and saw 1:00 I wondered whether I had miscounted, but then I looked again at 75 and it was 1:30, so I maintained that pace, and then was only a little bit slower at the end, making it quite clear that I had counted correctly all along. And I wasn’t even exhausted, it didn’t feel like anything was failing before the end… Didn’t even really feel like I was pushing that hard, for that matter, and there were moments when I was thinking to go slower because it felt too strange and I didn’t want a new record when it didn’t feel like one. But I got it anyway, and now I’m a bit frustrated because I know I’d have finished a few seconds faster, taking it below two minutes, if I’d have been in my room and really pushing every single moment, and I don’t know when or if I’ll be in such a form again.
Last week’s run was on January 28, after I woke up at 12:20 PM and stayed up, though I had set the alarm for 1:30 PM. Had the usual stuff, with jam on the last of those large doughnuts, which I had saved just for this purpose, as something sweet, then went out at 2:55 PM, wearing the jacket for the walk but just having the running t-shirt, with an undershirt underneath, on otherwise, since the reported temperature was 10-11°C and it was sunny. It was windy though, and that was a bit of a problem, but nevertheless the time was 47:23.04, with sector times of 4:18.55, 5:02 (5:01.82), 5:46.52, 4:25 (4:24.22), 5:00 (4:59.92), 5:47.25, 4:25.39, 5:06 (5:05.87), 5:47 (5:46.88) and 1:47 (1:46.62), making for lap times of 15:06.89, 15:12 (15:11.39) and 15:18.14.
There were some people, but other than having to weave or go the long way around there were few problems caused by them, even if one was on the very first sector, when I had to take to the grass to go around a group, losing a bit of time even though I actually cut a corner by doing so, since it was in a spot where there’s a slope towards the lake and I had to be careful. There was something of a roadblock on sector three of lap three, a group being gathered in one spot and others trying to pass through it as well, but it wasn’t too bad. Otherwise, some leg muscles complained early on, and then for a while, on lap two, it seemed that I was about to get a cramp in my right leg, but those issues sorted themselves out after a while. The worse problem, as I already mentioned, was the wind, and I had a bit of a hard time breathing as I went along because of it, feeling really out of breath on the final sector, but that was also because I pushed really hard on sector three of lap three. After the first sector, meant to just stay under 48 minutes, but also thought of 47:30 and decided to try to go for it after lap two, getting a poor sector two of lap three but thinking I still had a chance if I gave everything from then on, and managing it in the end. Had a headache after that, and my nose was irritated again, but it wasn’t too bad.
This week’s run was Tuesday, when I had set the alarm for 2 PM but woke up on my own just a couple of minutes earlier. One problem was that I had to wait for the guy to pick up my phone again, since it wasn’t actually fixed, the same behavior appearing again, and possibly getting even worse, in the sense that it didn’t even display that message or “forget” the provider anymore, giving me no way to know that it had lost a call or message. Thought it’ll be just like last time and he’ll come when I’ll be on the toilet, so I was worried and also didn’t stay long, and as a result didn’t manage anything the first time… Nor the second time, after he came, but at least it wasn’t a problem while running. And he also called more than ten minutes before he actually got here, which was just after 3:30 PM, and told me it’ll be about ten minutes, so I didn’t have to rush to the door again, even if this time I was actually prepared. And I could actually talk this time, since I’m now using my old phone again and I had it plugged in, so it didn’t turn itself off while I also mentioned that I hoped they’ll fix it this time, after sending it back just as it was. He, of course, said that he has nothing to do with that, and then repeated that when he got here, laughing a bit.
After that, 4:10 PM was rather late for going out, but it’s not getting dark so early anymore, so it was fine in the end. In fact, it actually worked out really well, since the wind died down during that time as well, plus that it had rained earlier and the clouds were still threatening as I went out, but the Sun was also starting to poke through, and by the time I finished the clouds had mostly cleared away as well. And the reported temperature was again 10°C, so I obviously again just had the running t-shirt on, with an undershirt underneath, with the jacket just for the walk.
The time was 47:13.25, with sector times of 4:18.21, 5:00 (4:59.93), 5:45.73, 4:23 (4:22.64), 4:59.19, 5:45 (5:44.55), 4:21.55, 5:00 (4:59.73), 5:48.38 and 1:54 (1:53.34), making for lap times of 15:03.87, 15:07 (15:06.38) and 15:09.66. There were some people, but again they mostly just caused me to need to weave through or go the long way around, a space opening just when I needed it in the couple of roadblocks that seemed to have formed in front of me, one young guy even apologizing as he realized I was coming and stopped himself before stepping in my way, so actually without bothering me at all. The only time I had to quickly sidestep was on sector two of lap three, when a child was gathering his scooter, facing across the path, I had to guess whether he’ll go forward or back and guessed wrong, needing to react quickly in order to avoid running into him. The main issue, therefore, was just the fact that it had rained earlier, so it was wet and some areas were slippery, and I actually slipped just as I started to run. But that actually helped, making me be more careful and avoiding any problems later, though that care quite clearly caused me to lose a few seconds. With all of the final sector likely to be slippery, and starting with those stairs as well, that was probably where that loss was the most noticeable, but I could afford it by then.
After dad moved things around on the balcony this time, that evening I replaced the paper on the shelves and arranged the bottles and jars in that cabinet where we keep those things there… And “managed” to hit my head again just as I finished, when getting up. Then I actually called Carrefour myself, since it’s a free number and I can call it even if my credit is expired, to inquire about the ordered cat food again. Didn’t help in any way though, the answer remaining the same, that those who answer that number can’t do anything about that and those in that department will get back to me, though the guy said he saw that the report already exists and marked it as urgent. He couldn’t say what that meant though, since I said that this call came after the others made Friday, Saturday and Monday and nothing happened, and he said that the normal response time is 24 to 48 hours, but they’re currently swamped, so he can only say that it’ll be “one of these days”.
This all started on January 29, when I had to get more cat food and when I checked the site of that pet shop and Auchan for one of the kinds, I couldn’t find it anymore, and I know Kaufland doesn’t carry that. However, when I checked Carrefour’s site, I saw that it wasn’t only available, but also on sale at a very good price, and since dad wanted some clothes hangers from there again and I again couldn’t find that particular model in stores, so it had to be ordered on-line, I just went out for the other kinds of cat food, leaving at 3:05 PM and at first crossing the road, to take the free bus to the usual Auchan, but then ending up taking it to the Vitan one, since that one didn’t come but this other one did. Got the cat food from there, and a few other things, and then got back with the 4:45 PM free bus… And at night I quite unexpectedly realized that I sort of missed Micky a bit, after dad took her to grandmother’s on January 26, since my mother wanted to have her there in order to take better care of her, since over here Liza won’t even let her eat and she had lost weight, and she’s old anyway. Remember telling Alma a while back that, as bad as it sounds, while I’d likely be relieved to be rid of spoiled, annoying Liza, in Micky’s case I doubt I’d even really notice if she’d be gone, yet for the first few days I did miss her simply sitting there next to me as I ate at night. Got over it quickly, while on the other hand, after all these years, I still sort of miss Bubu, but didn’t expect even that momentary impact.
To return to the mess with that order from Carrefour, the cat food and the hangers were from different sections of the site, and that day there was free shipping for orders over 99 RON from the “supermarket” section, which was where that cat food was. And since I ordered four bags and they were just over 99 RON, I used that code for that part of the order, and selected to pick up the clothes hangers from the location at the park, but added both to a single order and dad paid for it on-line. That is a requirement for things that you pick up, but not for those that get delivered, so if I’d have ordered them separately, he’d have only had to pay for the hangers, but as it was, the entire order had to be paid on-line, and since we didn’t get the cat food, that’s money that are currently lost, until something gets sorted out.
I received the message that I could pick up the clothes hangers on January 30, but didn’t go then, and instead went the next evening. Leaving the rest of that trip aside for the moment, I left at 5:30 PM because I had selected 3 PM to 5 PM for the delivery of the cat food, so I needed to be home then. But, of course, nobody came, so I walked to that Carrefour from the park to pick up the clothes hangers, and also asked about the cat food, a guy being called to check and saying that they only had those on my order, nothing else, so it was closed once I picked those up and I’ll need to wait for another message if there’s anything else. Asked dad to call them after I got back, and he was told the matter will be looked into and they’ll get back to us, but they obviously never did.
As I already mentioned, dad continued to call, Saturday being told that the department that handles these matters doesn’t work on weekends and Monday being told that the call will be transferred, only to have it cut off right away both times he tried, and after a pretty angry exchange with the person who picked up the second time he didn’t try again. After those calls he made, I also used the form on the site to send a message explaining the issue, but didn’t even get that automated message saying that it was received. Then there was that call I made on Tuesday, and yesterday I sent an e-mail, this actually being the first thing sent from my regular e-mail in a month. I really didn’t want to use it with the connection situation being what it is, but I made an exception now, no longer using another one, as I did when sending that message asking for that discount code, in order to have it match the one on the account the order was made from. And it’s possible that this actually made a difference, since I could have another look while dad took a bath and saw that the delivery address had been corrected. However, as of yesterday that kind of cat food shows up as no longer being available, after having been on sale until Wednesday, so I don’t know what will happen next.
Since I mentioned that trip on January 31, I was out for just about three hours and went to that Carrefour and the Auchan from that area, then got back with their free bus. Another reason I wanted to actually go to that Carrefour was that, on January 27, I received a reply from the manager of that store, saying that she will offer me a discount ticket for that price difference after all, and I only had to go to the information desk and say my name, which I did when I picked up those hangers. That made me feel that I rather owed them something, so I decided to look for gloves as well, finding only two pairs of men’s gloves left there. The models were different, but they were in the same place, with a single price, yet the one I picked scanned at a higher price. But I didn’t say anything and bought those gloves, and a few other things, adding up to the exact amount on that ticket, and later checked the prices for gloves in another location and saw that the higher price was indeed the correct one for that model. After that, walked to that Auchan and picked up the deeply discounted pack of razors which I had ordered from there, after being unable to find them in the store two days earlier. Thought I had memorized the order number, but I wasn’t asked for it, but for my name and what I had to pick up, and that pretty much made me freeze, since it wasn’t the conversation I had rehearsed, but I had seen the pack while waiting in line, so I eventually managed to mumble something that was good enough and I could receive it, pay and leave.
The next day dad mentioned running out of coffee, so at 3:50 PM I left to go to Kaufland, checking that Carrefour first and getting a large chocolate that was on sale, as if we didn’t still have a lot of sweets… Couldn’t find that coffee he wanted at Kaufland, however, and since I had the metro card I went to that one at Basarab as well, where I at least found that kind, even if only in 250 g packs. Actually asked if they didn’t still have 500 g ones anywhere, but was told they didn’t, so I just got him one of those small ones and plan to look in other locations these days as well. Got a few other things while I was there, and got back just before 7 PM.
Found dad moving things again then, in the living room, in order to place the router somewhere else and get the cables behind the bookshelves. And he wanted to talk to me about it, and also tell me that he had talked to the other possible major provider and in his view it’s not an option, but since I keep saying I won’t talk about the matter again until at least March, when that network should have finished moving their headquarters and we’ll be able to talk to them again, refusing to wait meant he went ahead and did that based on the requirements I had for this provider, which are different, making what he was told irrelevant. But the bigger problem then was the simple fact that he insisted to talk to me about those things, and after telling him a few times to not do that I cracked again, couldn’t even read a receipt he had left there, in order to know where to put it, and ended up going to the kitchen and whimpering into my fists for a while, with my jacket and shoes still on. Was completely out of it after that…
Going back a bit, on January 30 I attended that protest I already wrote about, even if I wasn’t feeling well when I woke up. A rib was hurting, on the left side, and there were some spasms in that area, which seemed like something that bone spur would likely cause, but I also felt lightheaded and, well, off in general, which worried me. But it was all right in the end, and I went out at 4:20 PM, which meant I was there early, even going to the toilet before getting out of the metro station and still doing so at 4:55 PM, when the protest was supposed to start at 5 PM and it was a weekday, so there were only a few people there at the time. So I circled around, wasted some time in the Mega Image from that area, then finally made my way to the others around 5:15 PM. Did greet a guy at first, asking him what had happened the day before, but otherwise wasn’t sure how to react to those I knew, pretty much only stood around for a while when some tried to include me in their conversations, and otherwise awkwardly wandered around until I left, at 7:30 PM, not even taking any pictures since I hadn’t felt like taking any camera with me. Considered making a detour to pick up that order from Carrefour, but didn’t have any money with me, so couldn’t also pick up that one from Auchan and therefore decided against it, entering the building at 7:55 PM. And then I ended up taking a late nap and eating even later than usual, since I crawled under the blanket to warm up after midnight, was still awake at 12:30 AM, but stayed there and ended up falling asleep at some point after that, and woke back up a bit after 1:30 AM.
Otherwise, on January 25 I finally uninstalled Kaspersky Anti-Virus and installed Arcabit Antivirus again. It’s even worse now, that delay of a few seconds when opening things still being there but a process which didn’t exist before, awsc.exe, also constantly using 1-2% of the CPU, and I’m seeing a little more used otherwise as well, so when I’m not at the computer there’s at least about one minute per hour, and up to two minutes per hour, used in such a manner. But I’m just getting through another month like this, then will definitely need to restore from that backup that at that point will be over four months old, before moving on to something else.
That day I was also out for just over one hour to get cat litter, meaning to get two bags but seeing that the price in the usual Carrefour was a bit higher than the one on the site. It does say that prices in stores may differ, so it was to be expected, but I ended up just buying one as a result. Then, the next day, I changed the sheets and turned the mattress around and flipped it over, at which point I also fixed that tear. Didn’t do it too well, and it’ll quite clearly come apart again if I’ll pull from that area, if not even on its own after a while, but it should be good enough for now. And, speaking of my bed, the following night I was in it at 4 AM, though I pretty much just tossed and turned until the time when I usually go to sleep.
Last but not least, Wednesday night winter finally came. It seemed like we’ll get no trace of it this time around, but we now finally have some snow. The temperatures will increase again and it won’t last, but there’s at least this taste of it, and today I’ll actually go out for a while. There was a lot of wind as well, and heard that about 100 trees, plus various other things, fell in Bucharest, but it was nothing compared to what other parts of the country experienced, with the wind speed going well over 100 km/h, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity, damaging buildings or even taking entire roofs away. It even reached over 150 km/h in the mountains, and even around 200 km/h in brief, localized phenomena that completely wiped out hectares of forest! That was terrible, but it’s to be expected as the new normal, the climate change we’re causing making what used to be a normal winter pretty much impossible, the weather during the “winter” months being closer to what it used to be in spring with the exception of some moments when polar air storms in like this and trashes everything in its path.