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Browsers, Games and an Awful Run

Since I have nowhere else to put this, I’ll start by mentioning that there were no visits recorded again on January 13 and 18. But, to get to the beginning of the period covered by this post, though I meant to wait until I’ll switch the associations before doing it, I ended up switching to using Vivaldi for Facebook as well in the early hours of January 9… And went to bed at 5:20 AM again that morning. But I mentioned switching the associations, and I stuck to my plan with that, changing settings to make Vivaldi generally the default browser on January 14, though I’m still keeping no actual, full, default browser. I’m still thinking of installing another one, mainly because I’d rather not be logged on Facebook and Google in the browser I use for everything else, and also don’t want to keep logging off and back on each time, but there’s still nothing else catching my interest except perhaps Pale Moon, which may also no longer be supported, or at least not properly.

Going back a bit, on January 10 I received Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition from likely the greatest giveaway yet on the GOG.com forum, again organized by that same user who is so incredibly generous time and time again, and also creative, this time around truly bringing back a community spirit that seemed forever lost, many others wanting to get involved and some doing so in ways I didn’t think possible anymore. Also started the included novella that evening, finishing it and writing a really quick review on January 14, but when it came to actually downloading the game, Vivaldi acted very oddly, constantly creating new processes and using all memory until I managed to force it to close, at a point when it had some 250 running processes. I was more careful when I tried again, starting the large downloads separately and checking each time, and it didn’t do it again then, but then it did happen again the next day, while downloading Spiritfarer.
I ended up doing that because the games not given away in the actual giveaway were donated to The Community Giveaway said following day, and despite feeling awfully awkward about it, I asked for that one from there as well, and received it. And, as I already mentioned, Vivaldi again messed up while downloading it, and that time I decided to wait it out, to see what happened, and after creating some 850 processes and obviously pretty much freezing my system before it finished, it eventually did complete the download and close those additional processes on its own, though a very long time passed between the moment when the download was listed as having reached 100% and those processes closing and the message that it had completed showing up. And I’ll also mention here that it was again 5:20 AM by the time I got in bed that morning.

Still on the topic of games, I’m obviously yet to write that review for Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker, but on January 18 I finished Syberia II and, since I never intended to write a full one, posted the quick review for it that same evening. And then, after eating, or more exactly after stuffing myself with mamaliga with quite a bunch of things added in it, I got back to Venetica, trying to remember how to play and what to do, after having dropped it in November of 2019. I’m yet to actually advance, and the fact that I’ll be losing attribute points from now on, since it seems the point automatically gained each level doesn’t get added if an attribute is already at 100, adds to the frustration, but I’m poking around the area and do mean to make myself push forward soon enough.
But, since I was at the early hours of January 19, I’ll also mention here that, when I disconnected before going to bed that morning, the network adapter vanished from the list again. It reappeared when I enabled it again from the Device Manager and didn’t vanish again since then, though I didn’t reboot, but it was something of a concern when I backed up on the external HDD after waking up, apparently for the first time since October, as I’m wondering whether I backed up the system in a state that had an error.

Going back a bit one more time, on January 12 I cleaned my room a little, also changing the sheets and flipping the mattress to the “winter” side. Didn’t read anything that day though, and in the evening I might have chipped a tooth a little in the pit of a sour cherry from a candy. And at night I noticed that the pasta I had made quite some time before and hadn’t gotten to finish, since plenty of other things had been brought during that period, had formed a film of mold on top, so I had to throw that part away and then, since I was making mamaliga again that night, get to what was left the next day, after first sort of washing, then thoroughly boiling, and then microwaving it as well. And there were three servings of sarmale left as well, and those also really needed to be finished, since dad had apparently left all of them to me and I just couldn’t get through everything, so I mixed one serving into the mamaliga made that night and then at least split the remaining two with him two days later.

Getting to the runs, an absolutely awful one was on January 15. I woke up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, but slept poorly and kept waking up, having strange dreams… Either way, had the usual stuff plus hazelnuts, with some of those better biscuits with added honey as the sweet thing again, finally opening that jar of honey to offer myself a little more before a run in such conditions. Didn’t leave much in the toilet though, and was out the door a bit before at 3:15 PM, also taking the paper, to drop it off in a bin along the way. Wore the old running pants and shirt, with an undershirt and two t-shirts underneath, the regular shoes and also that thing around my neck, pulled up to cover my nose and mouth. Also had the gloves, and the jacket for the walk, with quite a lot of things in its inside pocket again, so I again had to be careful when I tied it around my waist before starting to run. Though the forecast had threatened with worse, the reported temperature was 2-3°C, it was sunny and there was little wind, which meant that at least that second t-shirt was too much and I ended up overheating at one point, being relieved, at least from this point of view, when the light started going down and the temperature dropped a little more.
Knowing I’ll have an utterly dreadful time for ten kilometers, I went for 16, aiming for 1:22, though at first I of course still held on to a shred of hope that I’ll surprise myself and manage 1:20… And only managed a dreadful 1:23:23, with sector times of 4:29, 5:31, 6:20, 4:51, 5:25, 6:15, 4:49, 5:24, 6:24, 4:58, 5:29, 6:25, 5:00, 5:40 and 6:23, making for lap times of 16:20, 16:31, 16:37, 16:52 and 17:03. Did admittedly start with that thing pulled up to also cover my nose, both to protect it and trying to see what effects that had, but the quick estimate I made at the end of the first sector was that it was likely to cost me two and a half to three minutes over the five laps, so there was no way to continue like that and I pulled it down. Even so, realized after sector two of lap one that I had to push to even stay under the slowest ever time over this distance, that 1:24:06 I managed the first time I covered it, and it was only after lap four that I knew I was going to at least manage that and wondered whether 1:23:30 was possible. Not that managing that made it noticeably less of an embarrassment. And it really was all I had, pushing, trying take longer steps, to sprint on the straights, but just being unable to sustain the pace, probably the only good thing being that I at least used the run to try to figure out how I step, how my feet hit and move.
My left ankle started bothering me relatively early, possibly even on lap two, and it definitely was bothering me on lap three, though it never became that much of a problem. Other than that, dogs caused a roadblock on the long sector two straight on lap one, and it was again dogs that made me slow at one point on the same straight on lap five, though the worst roadblock, clearly costing me a few seconds, was caused by people on the long straight on sector one of lap two. And there were a fair number of people in general, but those were the major issues, otherwise just needing to weave and go the long way around. On the other hand, on that long sector two straight on lap four I heard someone coming quickly from behind, made sure I left the way clear, gave a thumbs up as I was overtaken… Then had a look and saw that the guy was quite old, and he just rushed past me and went off into the distance. And he wasn’t just doing a short sprint, because by the time I turned towards the bridge he was past it, and the last time I could see him was on the long sector three turn, when he got to the end of it and the start of the turn going in the other direction when I was reaching the place with kurtoskalacs.

After that awful run, I went on my planned route, first checking prices at the Carrefour from the park but not getting anything from there. Also spotted an €1 coin on the floor, but just picked it up and placed it on the counter of the tiny store that was there, and noticed a guy searching himself and then taking a firm step towards me when I did that, so maybe it was his, but I just walked away and didn’t even look to see whether he took it. Then I went to Auchan, actually finding myself on the way to Kaufland before realizing that I wanted to go to Auchan first and turning around. Realized almost immediately that, from where I had ended up, it’d have likely been faster to keep going and turn left a bit later, but I didn’t want to turn around yet again, so I just kept going and got bread and garlic from there. Then I finally went to Kaufland as well, getting a few things from there too and also grabbing an empty box that dad was likely to use. I also wanted a pretzel, but they had none left, so on the way back, with the places around the metro station already closed, I had a quick look, from the door, in that Mega Image that’s next to the pharmacy and then, after reaching it just before closing, also just taking a couple of steps inside this one that’s across the road, to try to look there as well, but they seemed to have none left either, so I did without and was back at exactly 9 PM… And in bed at 5:20 AM again.
After all of that, I woke up at 7:45 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep, cutting my losses after an hour and getting back on the computer for an hour and a half, and I’m quite sure it was past 11 AM when I finally fell asleep again. At 1:55 PM I meant to get up and pee, but when I saw the time I thought it was too late to get back to sleep, yet couldn’t really get up, being both too tired and too depressed, so it took me another full hour to actually get up. At least I got a pretty good nap in the evening… Though then it was yet again 5:20 AM when I got back in bed.

Moving on, Wednesday I left a bit after 4:05 PM, first going to that Carrefour from Obor, using a variant of that shorter route first used two months ago, to also avoid the market area, thinking I’ll have a look and then also go to that Auchan, looking mainly for bread and perhaps some more of Liza’s food. However, I found that food at the same price at Carrefour and the bread I get from there, which actually seems to be much better in that location, had the 50% discount for expiring products, so I got some of that as well and there was no more need to go to Auchan. Also found a good sale for those bagels my mother wants, getting quite a lot, plus bread for dad that was also 50% off. And I also got the lemons I did mean to get from there, and another one of those 3 kg bags of oranges, actually getting one that was also 50% off, noticing a place with spoiling and damaged ones that were discounted in this manner and finding one in which all seemed fine bar the remains of a squashed and moldy one. Weighed it and saw 2.7 kg, so I guess they had removed as much as they could of that one before placing the bag there and I ended up paying 50% less and getting just 10% less.
I did mean to do one more thing in that area, and that was to check that place I got pretzels from on my first long walk to “pay” with PET bottles, wanting to see whether I had correctly identified it when trying to look it up. So I got there during Biden’s speech and was just having a look while listening to that on the radio on my phone, but the woman who was there kept trying to talk to me, which was obviously even more awkward than it’d have normally been, so I walked away perhaps faster than I’d have otherwise intended, and obviously without buying anything.
That left me with plenty of time, and after having quickly checked one Mega Image from that area on the way to that place, I decided to check the others as well, looking for products with the 50% discount, including some pastries. There was nothing interesting in that first one, but in the second one I found a “creamy” yogurt and a pack of quail eggs. Didn’t get them then though, moving on to the second one and grabbing some black radishes, after asking what the price was, since it seemed that they had discounted all the ones they had left and there were no more at the regular price, or even a price label for them. I had also spotted some pastries that were also discounted in that manner, but somehow forgot to grab them when I got the radishes and after the cashier muttered something that sounded like a complaint about the fact that she had to count the exact change I had given her when it was near closing time while in the morning, when she needs coins, nobody gives her any, I didn’t go back. But I then crossed the road to the fourth Mega Image from that area and found a couple of discounted pastries I wanted to get there as well, so I got those instead. And then I got back to the second one, seeing that yogurt and those eggs still there and getting those as well.
Finally made my way back after that and was entering the building just after 9:10 PM, having carried some 16.5 kg, including clothes and the usual stuff in my pockets. With that thing covering my nose as well, I was breathing rather heavily at times, but since I had the backpack and that bag I hang around my neck and the bags I carried in my hands were also pretty balanced, I didn’t struggle. On the other hand, it was only then, after taking them out of the bag, that I noticed that one of the quail eggs wasn’t just cracked, but had a hole in it, and later saw several more that were cracked, all of them from one area, so on top of expiring soon, that pack had been struck in that spot. But even that one with the hole ended up being fine, since dad already ate it, along with a few others, and I ate three more tonight, putting them alongside the piece of fish that was left in the mamaliga I made.
Back to Wednesday evening, I had an orange and a few crackers with honey before showering, but then only started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, and only moved to my room to continue an hour later, finishing half an hour after that. And it was actually 5:35 AM when I got in bed… And woke up the second time around 9:40 AM, washed all dad had left in the kitchen, peed, and then my mind was too busy to let me get back to sleep before some neighbor started banging loudly. After a while someone knocked and rang the doorbell too, but didn’t try again when nobody answered… Eventually the noise died down and I could start drifting in and out of a restless sleep, and finally actually catch a little nap, but a bit before 1 PM I was awake again, when dad started moving around in the kitchen, and after a few more minutes under the blanket I got up. Did nap in the evening, but was completely exhausted even after that.

Friday I meant to get up when I woke up because dad made some noise, a little before 1:15 PM, but with the alarm set to ring at 1:30 PM, I crawled back under the blanket and actually think I briefly fell asleep again, only actually getting up after the alarm rang. Then I had the usual stuff plus the last of the hazelnuts, the yogurt being the “creamy” one picked up from that Mega Image two days earlier and the sweet thing some of those nicer biscuits with added honey again. When I went out, just after 3:55 PM, the reported temperature was 7°C, it was rather cloudy and I had the old training suit, with just an undershirt under the shirt, and the running shoes, plus the gloves and that thing around my neck, pulled up to also cover my nose on the way, so I won’t also wear a mask. Also took the jacket for the walk to the park, but had it tied around my waist not just during the run, but on the way back as well, since I jogged. Also on the way back, had a quick look at the expiring things in this nearby Mega Image, but just to have a look, having taken no money with me anyway.
Back to the run, the time was 48:54.62, with sector times of 4:11.13, 5:11.17, 6:05 (6:04.82), 4:34 (4:33.96), 5:11.35, 5:59.17, 4:34 (4:33.84), 5:14 (5:13.56), 6:02.28 and 1:53.34, making for lap times of 15:27.12, 15:44.48 and 15:50 (15:49.68). Pushed from the beginning, managing that very good sector one time despite a roadblock that made me slow and probably also stop for just an instant, but then things started going poorly even though I had no other “excuses”. There were a fair number of people, but usually just making me need to weave or go the long way around, at most causing me to slow a little a couple more times, I didn’t feel the wind at all and had no noticeable physical issues, simply being unable to push harder, and definitely running out of breath well before the end of the long straights I tried to sprint on. Maybe my chest felt a bit tight because I didn’t want to snap my back in that rough manner anymore, so I just dealt with it as it was, but that was it. So I realized after sector two of lap one that any thoughts of returning under 48 minutes were just dreams, and that poor sector three of lap one made it clear that even 48:30 was out of the question, the only goal left being 49 minutes. Throughout lap two, I doubted even that, but the noticeably better sector three, possibly managed thanks to another runner who caught up to me and then stayed behind me for a while before finally overtaking and getting well ahead, gave me hope and I just pushed as much as I could on lap three, just managing the time needed to feel relatively safe on the final sector.


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