Since I finished this hours ago but can only post it after midnight, I’m using the file time. With that out of the way, I’ll start by saying that, after needing all of three days, April 19 to 21, to read Skykeep and also post the quick review for it, I mean to also go through Ichor Well this week, but let’s see how it’ll go after writing this. That’s also because, on the one hand, I’m at a point in Lionheart that makes me wary of continuing, which should therefore make me push myself to do just that so I won’t give up on it for who knows how long, while on the other, I really should let the computer go through the work units it has to go through, for both MilkyWay@home, which is the current emergency, since until last evening I had suspended that project and they’re about to time out, and SETI@home, since I received quite a number and am just about to reach that target credit of 7.5 million, but shouldn’t risk waiting long enough for them to be canceled, if that will happen.
On the topic of SETI@home, received 33 work units on April 18, then had just finished those when I received a full quota of 150 the following night, which also means that the maximum work units per day limit doesn’t apply anymore, or perhaps it never did, or not in this manner, since mine was way lower at that time, considering that mess. That still wouldn’t have been enough, but I then received 60 more, the first two coming separately, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, when I quickly checked when I woke up to go to the toilet, and the other 58 coming at once later on Wednesday, taking me back to a full quota, so there would have likely been more available if I’d have finished more by then. Those would have just barely been enough, if I calculated everything correctly, taking me at most a few hundred credits over that threshold, and possibly even less than 100, but after seeing calls to cancel unneeded tasks, as in those that have already been validated but which have been sent to more than the necessary number of users, since that’s what the project is doing now in order to hasten the completion of all remaining work units, I was worried that it’ll actually happen, and my chances of hitting that target depended on completing all those tasks, when only a few of them were actually still needed, the other computers which had received them being way faster. However, Sunday night I got back to a full quota, receiving 117 more tasks, so once again I’d have probably received more if I’d have finished more before then. And this should ensure that I’ll get well over 7.5 million, but I’m not quite there yet, have to pause SETI@home for the next few days to catch up with MilkyWay@home, and just about all of these new, for me, tasks that I have remaining have already been validated as well, so I certainly hope they won’t end up being canceled by then and leave me so near and yet so far…
Before moving on to the two days when I went out, I’ll add here that last Sunday I sent an e-mail to Elena P. as well, since there was no sign otherwise, but did say that nothing good can come of it and I likely shouldn’t have sent the earlier messages either, so in case this will be the last contact it’d at least be fitting, since the last contact 18 years ago was also around Easter. The address I found is quite clearly her work one, and I did find it on a site where mental health professionals volunteer their services for those who need them during this period, and there was a phone number there as well, and I did consider sending a message that way, making it less obvious who I am, to possibly prompt a reply that way, but as I said, nothing good can come of it anyway, so decided against it. And, of course, there was no reply to the e-mail.
Other than that, slept poorly Saturday morning. Kept waking up, wasn’t sure when I was awake and caught in worries and fears and when I was asleep and having nightmares, got up at noon to go to the bathroom and noticed that my gums were bleeding, on the lower right side, and the bleeding wouldn’t stop until I held cold water there for a while… Spent some time on the computer after that and meant to also wait for the 1 PM daily report, but dad woke up just before that time and I disconnected, watching the news on TV instead, then played a little more Lionheart and crawled back in bed. Couldn’t get back to sleep though, also being bothered by noise made by dad and the upstairs neighbor, and while things were quieter after 2 PM or so, I can’t really say how much I slept even after that, if at all, until I finally got up, at 3:40 PM. It is possible that I did nap for up to one hour, but it’s also possible that I spent at least most of that time just curled up in a ball, caught in those same thoughts, unable to find any comfortable position and feeling that I was just cracking apart, going through the reasons why and feeling like I was running out of mental “breath” before I could even finish the list…
Last week’s run was Thursday, when I again had the alarm wake me up at 11 AM, had the usual stuff plus almonds, with a piece of apple pie as something sweet, and went out at 1:15 PM, when the reported temperature was 18°C, though it was rather windy at times. Had the running pants and t-shirt and the regular shoes, but this time around didn’t take the other stuff I was going to need later with me, so I just went for the run at first. The problem was that I had eaten some things that didn’t really agree with me those days, probably starting with having too many eggs and possibly also including some of the sweets, but at least I finally managed to get rid of some excess weight before leaving, after three days of being constipated.
Under those circumstances, I only aimed to stay under 50 minutes and the time was 49:52.40, with lap times of 12:28.18, 12:24.09, 12:38 (12:37.80) and 12:22.33. On lap one I had to stop for a few seconds to let a car pass, deciding not to risk trying to squeeze ahead of it past the spot where the sidewalk was blocked even though I’d have had time to do so, and it also slowed for a speed bump, making me wait even longer. On the first two laps there was also a large car parked so I had to pick my way around it at the end of that alley in that nicer bit of the route, and on lap two there was a woman with a dog there as well, just standing in that area and talking on the phone, so I had to also squeeze past her the first time, and then she moved in front of the car and the dog’s leash meant that the next two times I had to pass through that spot before leaving that area I had to go around another car, and also a tree once. Then, on lap three, I think I had to briefly stop for two cars, though there’s a chance that one of them was on lap four, also slow for another and weave to make room for a couple of others. As for lap four, an old woman with a little dog had stopped to talk to someone else at the end of that same alley, the dog being off the leash and making for my legs each time I passed by, making me need to be careful each time I passed that spot. The dog had also charged for my legs as I passed them on lap three, when they were walking to that area, but she had the leash to pull it back then, while on lap four she was just calling to it, only picking it up after I passed the first time but putting it back down before I came through there the second time.
Had a whole lot of recyclables to take out, including those things I take to Kaufland, and had placed them near the door, along with my jacket and the bag with the other stuff, so after the run I just came up, grabbed everything and left again. Had some tiny insect end up in my eyelashes on the way to Kaufland, and trying to blow it away obviously didn’t work with the mask on, and I didn’t want to touch my face, but it eventually did end up blown to my cap and I could pick it off that. That actually happened just as I was about to reach a bank that’s close to that Kaufland, since I went there first, meaning to make that donation, but a note stated that the location in question was closed during the state of emergency, so I had to leave it for another time.
After dropping off those things I drop off there and checking prices in Kaufland, I also went to that Carrefour and got a few things. Kept hovering around the cucumbers, trying to get an amount that’d result in a total that I had exact change for, but it was hard to pick some that weren’t too bad in the first place, and there were employees standing around there as well, and also trying to pick some for those who had ordered on-line, and one even commented about how bad they were, so I didn’t try enough times to manage that. That did lead to discovering quite a trick they were trying to pull, however, since I once used the scales next to the fruits and the price was almost double, though it was correct at the two that were closest to them. So I waited until I could weigh them there again, finished shopping there, then went back to also get what I wanted from Kaufland and walked back. Also checked the nearby Mega Image for cabbage, but it was too expensive, so I went right back out and was just entering the building at 5 PM. Interestingly, the mask seemed better than last time, little water getting through when I washed it after getting back, though the spot where I think the tip of the nose is has the inner lining rubbed off pretty much completely.
This week’s run was yesterday, when I again slept poorly. Woke up just after 8 AM and wanted to pee, but dad was there at the time, so I had to wait for a while and had a hard time getting back to sleep after that, and kept waking up even when I did happen to manage to fall asleep. There were again moments when I wasn’t sure whether I was having nightmares or was just wrapped in my thoughts, but definitely had nightmares about computer problems, so it was something of a relief when the alarm again rang at 11 AM. Felt quite exhausted, but had the usual stuff plus almonds, and a slice of cozonac with honey as something sweet, spent quite some time on the toilet and only managed to get a little out, then went out when it was almost 1:20 PM, wearing the running pants and the regular shoes, but also a regular t-shirt. The reported temperature was again around 18°C, but there was less wind and it actually felt quite hot when there was no shade.
The time was an embarrassing 50:27.09, with lap times of 12:39.18, 12:26.43, 12:40 (12:39.51) and 12:42 (12:41.97), the main problem being that I had happened to hear how this type of mask is actually supposed to be worn and realized how much I had been breathing over it so far, since I bent that metal thing in order to have it fit around my nose before leaving and immediately realized that I won’t have any chance to run that way. Loosened it a bit at that point, but still had it on much more properly than before, and that made it a struggle, which became quite a desperate one on the last half a lap. There weren’t many other problems, only needing to slow for a car on that same lap four, just as the situation was starting to get desperate, plus something getting in my eye on lap two and bothering me for quite a long time, forgetting that loop once again for a moment on lap one and needing to turn around after a few meters, and slowing for a few seconds at the start of that same lap four to see the time better. But I was just out of air, and trying to breathe it in faster than it could get through the mask also meant that my nostrils were closing. Tried to manage it, resigning myself to the pace I could maintain under those circumstances, but on lap four I tried to push harder and things got a whole lot worse after turning around here, my nostrils starting to close pretty much completely. I tried not to, but soon enough I was forced to occasionally breathe in through my mouth and also pulled on the mask a few times, and probably made the fact that I had been wearing it at all completely irrelevant when I believe I stuck a finger inside a nostril to try to open it up again. I’m not completely sure, but my nose had just closed completely as I was pushing and I felt that if I didn’t get enough air in before the next step I’ll black out, so I just reacted in desperation.
Had bags and money with me again, so I kept going after the run, at first having a quick look in the nearby Mega Image, then walking to the Dristor metro station, mostly using the alleys between buildings, to leave those two old found cards, as they were about to expire. One only had one trip left on it, but the other listed eight yet I seem to remember seeing that it actually only had two left when I found it, the machines not printing the other uses, so I wanted to check again and write the real number above the little message, since I had written a little message on each, saying that anyone who needed a trip could take them. It didn’t work, however, the first machine reacting when I touched the “i” but just telling me to remove the card, without displaying any information, after that, and then no longer doing anything at all when I again touched that “i”, and the other three I tried not reacting at all from the beginning, despite repeated attempts. So I just left them on one, but at that point the cashier told me to not do that and that there’s a trash can nearby, and another person joined in when I went to the cashier instead, before they actually listened enough to hear that I was saying I wanted to leave them for those who needed them. The cashier then said that the wind will just blow them away, and a woman was just coming in, so when I spotted her behind me I asked whether she wanted some metro cards that are about to expire and she asked whether they were monthly passes, but the cashier urged her to just take them and she did, so I just told her the number of trips I thought were still on them and left.
From there, there was a slightly shorter route to Kaufland, but I spotted the sign for another location of that bank I needed to get to for that donation and went towards it instead, despite having checked and knowing that it should also be closed during this period, the open one being located past that Kaufland. And it was indeed closed, but since I kept going that way after passing by it, I also spotted a small shop that had Romanian cabbage that looked good enough for the lowest price I’ve seen these days, so I kept that in mind.
When I reached that area, I first checked that pet shop, seeing that they had indeed raised the prices for that kind of cat food as well, and dad had asked me to get some more for Rocky. Then I also checked prices at Kaufland, also for mouthwash, since he had also told me that my mother wanted some and the day’s offer was actually 30% off for all oral care products. Also looked at bread, but now, at least in that location, customers aren’t allowed in the bakery area anymore, but since they didn’t change the area and the products are readily accessible and not bagged anymore, they actually stop you from even approaching, so when I was trying to squint to read the ingredients an employee came and told me to ask her if I wanted anything, then quickly told me what the types of bread in the area I was looking at were made of, but in general terms when I just wanted to read the actual list of ingredients, exactly, for two or three of them.
Went back out after that, wanting to take care of that donation first. Was also wondering whether I should also go to Auchan, since that cat food should now be slightly cheaper there and there was also a chance of finding some bread I’d like more, but there was also the risk of going there for nothing and the time didn’t add up, so I just went to that bank. Had to wait outside for a while, since they only allow two people inside and there were two already there, but it wasn’t that long before one came out and I probably finished even faster. The infuriating part was that the person there told me there will be a fee, which turned out to be 10 RON, and I gather it’s a fixed fee, but since I was donating 50 RON, it ended up deducting 20% from the amount donated. Good thing I waited until I could put more aside and didn’t go to donate the 20 RON I initially had in mind, as that’d have been pretty much pointless. Did I mention how much I hate banks?
Back to that pet shop after that, getting that cat food, and then to Kaufland as well, getting what I wanted, plus some bread for dad that was discounted because it was expiring soon. Should have been three of those, but when I scanned the first one, which was actually the better one, at the self-checkout, I found myself holding slices of bread, the bag tearing, though I hadn’t noticed it being torn when I picked it up. That caused me to make a startled noise and the employee who was nearby told me to hand it to her if I no longer wanted it, but then immediately moved to help someone else, without canceling it as well, so I had to wait for her to finish and do that before I could scan anything else. But there were no other problems.
Used the same route on the way back, to return to that small shop and get a cabbage, and then I passed through the farmers’ market to get apples as well. Got two kinds, but only half a kilogram of the second kind, and the moment was rather awkward, since I was looking over the types that were on that stall and stopped at the pile that was right at the end, which turned out to not belong to the woman who had asked what I wanted. She followed me and weighed them, but I initially dismissed the slight bitterness I thought I heard in her voice when she asked whether those were the ones I wanted, until she asked what the price was and said that they weren’t hers. That prompted a surprised reaction from me, since she was the only person there at the time, so I just assumed that they were all her apples, even though I had indeed moved to the next stall, but at that point it was too late to perhaps get back to her stall and buy some of hers instead. She actually had some of the same kind and at the same price, but I liked those from the pile I chose a little better and until she said that I didn’t wonder why would the same person have the same product, at the same price, in two different piles. Did feel rather awkward because of it, but I took the apples, gave her the money and left her and the other person to sort it out I guess.
Got something else in my eye, actually the same eye, on the way back, and if I think that what got in my eye during the run was a small petal, that seemed worse and my eye occasionally stung for hours after I got back, though by the time I went to bed it seemed fine again. But I was back at 5 PM, again sticking to the schedule I made for the days when I’ll go out during this period… And had another banana, which again made me feel nauseous. But I was apparently lucky to be able to take a shower then, because there had been no hot water when I left and the problem returned today, so I caught just the right moment.