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Avira Behaving Suspiciously and Minimal Gains on the New Route

To go in reverse chronological order, this afternoon I noticed that the water was quite brown, which made me wonder whether it had been like that when I made tea as well, one hour or so before noticing this, since I was rushing then and can’t really say that I looked. But since I drank half of it before noticing, I’ll just drink the rest as well and hope it’ll be fine. On the other hand, when I woke up to pee I quickly connected again and SETI@home got four more work units. There had been two others in the period covered by this post, one of them an instant overflow, and there was one more of those among the four received today, but the others required more processing. Yes, the two that I checked were also overflows, but they got there pretty much at the end. Since the fourth one received today came after the others and was also the last to be processed and returned, I again tried to save it on the Internet Archive, but let’s see if it’ll stay there, since weird things seem to be happening when I do this, the other snapshots I attempted to save before seeming to vanish when the work units in question were cleared from the SETI@home site, but one of them having returned by now. For that reason, I’ll leave this link even if the snapshot will appear gone when I’ll check again after posting this. There should be quite a few other resent work units, however, so even if I’m not connected most of the time and therefore miss out on most of them, I should still receive a few more before it’ll all be over.

The next part also has to do with my computer and it happened last night, starting at 1:16 AM, about a quarter of an hour before I got back, since I had connected it when dad left, quickly checked a few things and then went to the kitchen. In fact, I probably briefly came into my room while it was still going on, since the HDD led showed a lot of activity, but it was Wednesday night, so I assumed that Defrag was running and didn’t turn on the monitor to try to see what was going on before going to the bathroom… And still didn’t check for about one hour after getting back, only doing so after manually updating Avira and seeing that the logs listed the services stopping and restarting, which would happen in case of a program update, but the program version was unchanged and Avira’s logs didn’t mention anything having happened earlier either. When I checked the logs of Comodo Firewall, however, I saw that a lot of things had changed between 1:16 AM and 1:20 AM, and then I saw an “Avira” entry with April 16 as the listed date in the list of installed programs, alongside the older “Avira Antivirus” one. In addition, alongside entries about Avira having stopped, installed and started services, and failed to restart one, and apparently requiring a reboot, I found entries about Windows automatic updates having been resumed and then stopped again at that time in the Windows event logs, though Windows Update doesn’t list any activity at that time. But that instance of WmiPrvSE.exe that constantly took up at least 3% of the CPU also seems to have vanished.
Now it seems that I can’t completely disable automatic updates in Avira Antivirus Pro, but I had them set to only happen once every seven days and the one time that did happen so far was clearly marked in the logs, so this was something entirely different and it seems to have something to do with the Avira “package” and not the Antivirus itself, but if that is indeed what happened, how can they get away with such forced automatic updates without even any sort of logging, not to mention settings and notifications? Though, of course, the first question is whether that was what actually happened, and not knowing makes me feel even more uneasy about even using my computer now… But I guess it at least makes it clear that I will need to restore from the backup after this trial will be over, to be sure any traces of this or anything else that will happen will be removed.
To return to what happened last night, at 3 AM I rebooted, and was greeted by an UAC prompt from BOINC, which definitely shouldn’t have happened. But it seemed to work just fine, and while Comodo Firewall again “forgot” its HIPS settings, I had exported the configuration just before rebooting and could quickly restore it. The much bigger problem appeared around 3:30 AM, when I wanted to check whether Lionheart still worked and for some reason it started minimized. I had accidentally switched away from it, with Alt+Tab, before it displayed the main menu once before, and it just about froze my computer, making me spend several minutes very slowly and carefully getting to the point where I could force it to close, but now that process was even more difficult and I only finally managed it after a good half an hour! But at least I finally managed it and the system recovered right away, without the need for a hard reset, even if one of the first things I tried was to hit Ctrl+Alt+Del and that resulted in an error message stating that Windows was unable to display that screen and to use the power button if the computer fails to respond. And Lionheart started just fine on the second attempt, and each time I started it today, since I’ve been playing quite a lot.
I will, however, add here that the HDD again was busy when I got back after showering, after initially posting this, and there were no logs anywhere mentioning that anything had just happened and that was after the computer had been idle for some 40 minutes, so it wasn’t the usual thing it does after about 20 minutes of inactivity. And an instance WmiPrvSE.exe showed up again after that and remained running, but didn’t seem to be using any processing power anymore, and then vanished again after I updated manually at night, which resulted in the services stopping and restarting again, though the program version was again the same. This is making me increasingly anxious, and I’m fighting off quite a bad a panic attack as I’m writing this. Wonder how I’ll sleep tonight…

This week’s run was Monday, after sleeping very poorly and little. Was anxious, close to a panic attack, kept waking up, and the last time was at 10:56 AM, when I got up, since the alarm was supposed to ring at 11 AM. Had the usual stuff, with the cereals being another one of those free servings and the sweet thing being a large doughnut with honey, also had almonds again, and left at 1:20 PM. The reported temperature was around 20°C, maybe a little more than that, it was sunny and there was little wind, but I wore the running pants, not the tights, the regular shoes and also a regular t-shirt, so I won’t stand out after the run, since I was going to go buy some things as well. Obviously also wore the mask, and had the stuff I took with me in that small bag I held. My ID card and the required paper were still in a pocket, but the way I folded that paper and placed the card inside it meant I was much less worried that I could lose them.
The time was 49:04.93, with lap times of 12:17.39, 12:14.33, 12:19 (12:18.87) and 12:14.34, which probably marks the end of my hopes of getting under 48 minutes even on this route and under these conditions, the gains becoming minimal, though at least the lap times were very close. I would have been able to just get under 49 minutes, but I could have done that last time as well, if I wouldn’t have taken it easier for much of lap four. This time around, there were two moments when I had to step aside and wait for a couple of seconds to allow a car to pass, the first of them on lap one and the second probably on lap two, though it’s possible that it was in fact on lap three. There was another moment, I think on lap four, when I had to slow down for another car, and another, again on lap one, when I had to go around an oncoming car, needing to get behind it before being able to turn right and follow the route, again probably causing me to lose a couple of seconds. There were a few other moments when I had to step aside, but the sidewalk was clear in those spots, so I could keep running. One parked car caused me to lose a few seconds over the course of the first two laps, on the other hand, since it was parked in a spot that didn’t allow me to follow the optimal route. Then again, there’s another one that’s always parked in a similar way in another location, but since that one’s always there, getting around it has so far been a normal part of the route, which wasn’t the case with this one. In addition, it seemed that somebody kept spitting from above in what I consider to be the one nicer spot on this route, so I was careful whenever I passed through there, and doing so three times per lap means I likely lost a few more seconds there as well. Otherwise, my liver started hurting not long after starting lap four, but I could manage that.

This time I meant to go to the Auchan at Vitan, and it was the only destination listed on my paper, though I was prepared to add that Kaufland after it if I won’t find Liza’s food there. Used the main roads this time around, however, since I decided to also stop by that Carrefour on the way, finally finding bread there and getting that and some tea… And somehow losing my shopping list. It probably happened when I pulled the bag I use for bread out of that little one, since I wanted to put the bread in it right away and not use a cart, but I went back to that spot moments later, even looked under the shelves, and couldn’t find it. But that wasn’t a problem, so I kept going to that Auchan and found some food for Liza. Not the one she likes, however, but the one type from this brand that they did have was one she had eaten a few times before, so I got some of that so she’ll have something until next week. Also asked an employee about that kind, saying that the site states it’s in stock at that location and I went there specifically for that, but he said the site’s not updated and that if they had any it’d be on the shelf, but that entire section is almost completely empty, so they really don’t have any left. So I got a couple of other things… And somehow only realized two days later that I used a regular checkout.
On the way back, I went through the farmers’ market, buying some cheap apples, and then used the alleys between buildings, not that I had seen anyone that could check the papers at any point, unless you count a few local police cars passing by. They seem to have rearranged some of the stalls in that market though, since the entrance I used was blocked by them, though those were fortunately unused at the time and I could squeeze around them, not having to go back. Did have to turn around when I left, on the other hand, since the exit I meant to use was locked for some reason. But I got back here pretty much when I meant to, at 5:05 PM, albeit without cabbage and this month’s issue of National Geographic. About the cabbage, the new one seems to have appeared everywhere, so the old one can’t be found anymore and this new one is about three times more expensive, but the situation with National Geographic is stranger, since I couldn’t see it anywhere and even asked in one place, after leaving Auchan, and they said it wasn’t out yet, though when I checked that evening I saw posts stating that it was out on April 9. Guess I’ll look again next week and hope I’ll find it then, if dad won’t until then, since I don’t mean to go out again until Wednesday. I’ll need to start looking for another good mask though, since this trip seems to have damaged this one.

Since I mentioned dad, Sunday I noticed that it seems like the jack going into the router, from the cable connecting his computer, broke already, so now he told me to stop disconnecting it, soon after he had insisted that I do that when he leaves his computer on when he’s away and I want to connect for a while, so he won’t have to check, since he doesn’t anyway. The new “instructions” are to unplug it from his computer, but there’s no reason to think it won’t soon break from there as well… Of course, this situation was supposed to end in March, when we were supposed to get a second connection, if at all possible from another such network, for me to use, or otherwise from another major ISP, in which case he’d have ended up using that new one while I’ll be left alone on this one, at least no longer sharing it, even if I’ll feel just as uncomfortable and anxious using it. But that’s obviously out of the question now, and most likely for quite some time to come…
While I’m on the topic of dad, a few hours later, Sunday evening, I noticed a small piece of carpet in the kitchen, asked him about it and he said he had brought some junk in it and dumped it in the trash, adding that it was metal and plastic but starting to say that it wasn’t something to recycle. I obviously cut him off, saying that of course it was recyclable, and he said he won’t separate it. Then, when I said I will, but would rather not have to dig through the trash for it, he told me not to dig, and that the Earth will live just fine without it. And this came after I again dug something out of the trash a couple of days earlier and he told me to stop doing that. So I ignored him, shut up and started digging through the trash again…

Before finishing this, I’ll also mention that I risked it and sent Andra a message on Goodreads before going to bed Saturday morning, asking whether she was all right and how was she dealing with the situation. Had also sent an e-mail some time ago, but I’m quite clearly blocked there, or perhaps she’s not even using that address at all anymore, so I made use of that, even if it’s one of the two contact methods I had saved for future emergencies, and the one place where I know I’m not blocked. As such, there’s a huge risk in making her aware of my account there and, more importantly, of the fact that I know hers, but it seems that she’s just ignoring the message and not actually blocking me, since it was saying that she was last active in February and after I sent the message it said that she was active this month, but I can still see the profile… At least so far…
On the other hand, while I’m on this topic and also thinking of checking up on others as well, or at least on Jen, there’s still no reply from Elena P., and I’m wondering whether I should use another contact method these days for one last attempt, even if I’m quite aware that no good can come of it and it’d be better to just leave things as they are. Another message sent to Elena G. some time ago, also asking whether she was all right and where, seeing as she used to travel a lot, did produce a reply, after she had also sent a quick reply to the birthday message I sent back in November, but when this time around I attempted to continue the conversation, that second message remained unanswered. And then I also sent Susana a birthday message these days and she replied as well, and continued to reply after that, but things are really awkward and, while in that first reply she asked what does this mean and what happens next, I’m the one wondering those things, since she’s the one who went through all that trouble to get rid of me all those years ago, and still blocks me on some other sites.

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