[ View menu ]

Keeping the Current Evil in Office to Keep the Greater One Out, Easier than Ever

As it was certain to happen, Klaus Iohannis easily defeated Viorica Dancila, being elected for a second term with about two thirds of the votes, Dancila’s sole goal having been to get that second place and advance, which she managed much more easily than anticipated. If you exclude 1990, this makes the result comparable only with the one from 2000 in terms of difference, and also the first time PSD, in any of its forms, has suffered such a heavy defeat. But, of course, seeing as it was PNL‘s representative who defeated them, it just means keeping the current evil in office to keep the greater one out, and doing so at a time when, with PNL now forming the Government as well, said current evil increased significantly, no longer being there to fight against PSD’s worst moves, but to empower PNL in theirs.

Looking at it like that, some may, and have, been inclined to think that it’d have been better to have Dancila in that office after all, to keep them fighting each other and maybe keep each other’s most dangerous plans from becoming reality. But, ignoring the fact that there was never any chance of that happening, the way the system and people work means that, when it comes to those with real chances at the top positions, it’s almost always a choice between evils, and usually between great ones. It other words, it obviously has nothing to do with any hope or expectation of anything good, but merely a matter of choosing your preferred enemy, of fulfilling your obligation to vote, to express your opinion, out of the available choices, when the authorities actually go through a lot of trouble to ask it of you, in order to obtain the right to complain, to demand to be heard, the rest of the time. And, taken like that, no matter how much I am against the Right, I’d much rather have those who are openly on the Right instead of those representing an oligarchic, if not even sort of feudal, Right masquerading as the Left, just throwing some scraps to those in need to keep them captive and utterly trashing the whole concept of the Left, taking it to such lows in the mind of many, and of many of those seeking alternatives in particular, that any actual Leftist initiative is doomed from the start.
Other than that, both represent the current political class and PSD and PNL are the two largest parties, which should be opposed as a matter of principle, and of course neither of them is an environmentalist, but that’s pretty much all that they’re level at. While neither is suited for such a high office, Dancila is far worse. She’s also quite a nationalist, a soft euroskeptic, socially conservative and making a point of being religious, while he’s pro-EU, not a nationalist, and I’d say quite neutral when it comes to the other two issues. And he also has far better international connections, image and, to some extent, support. What those connections are, where that support comes from and what it implies, are different matters and an important reason why he also represents a great evil, but having them is crucial under any circumstances, and especially when, according to the Romanian Constitution, the President primarily deals with external affairs.

But, of course, the fact remains that, while elsewhere the major parties are being pushed aside, we’re pretty much where we were five, and ten, and 15, and even 23 years ago, still mainly struggling to find a way to stop PSD, in its various incarnations, and being unable, and unfortunately in the case of some also unwilling, to push against the entire system maintaining this situation, to build and support real alternatives. Admittedly, in terms of the negative consequences of this behavior we did come a long way from the disaster that was the period between 1996 and 2000, and also, as someone put it, when you constantly have to struggle to keep the mountain from falling on top of you, it’s impossible to also build, to lay the foundations for the future. But we need to, we can’t just keep staying where we are, we can’t just keep focusing only on pushing back the greater evil and buying time when there’s no more time to be found, the clock ticking so loudly… If the final hour didn’t pass already, that is.
I recall some fliers someone was spreading five years ago, calling Klaus Iohannis emergency medication, with significant side effects that need to be accepted by the patients, as taking it, in a single dose, is necessary to stave off the plague coming upon us. The problem is that we’re now at the second dose, the side effects are likely to be worse, the plague’s still there, and an actual cure is still nowhere to be found. And no, I don’t see USR, and even less so PLUS and their alliance with each other, as even a potential cure. Leaving aside the fact that they remain irrelevant on the political scene, I don’t even see Demos as one, though I guess they at least have the beginnings of some good ideas, the problem being that they’re at a level that belongs decades in the past and even those ideas are mixed with quite a pile of crap, albeit a very different sort of crap than what other parties put forward.

Later edit: My first question for Iohannis now would be, well, long, but go something like this: Many Romanians, perhaps most, the vast majority of those in rural areas, many from small urban areas and a significant part of those from large urban areas as well, live in poverty and social exclusion or are at risk of it. They lack access to the resources, goods, services and infrastructure needed for a decent standard of living, they aren’t connected with the world, they don’t and can’t have a decent level of information and education, not necessarily formal but that which is needed to have a good life and be active citizens. You say, and I completely agree, that PSD does not care for these people, merely throwing them the occasional “bone” to keep them captive, as doing something to actually pull them out of that state would result in losing them as their voters. However, these “electoral alms” are at least some sort of direct, immediate aid, which is what these people need, first to survive and then to be lifted out of their current state. You represent, and at this point can be said to also lead, the Right in Romania, and also claim to be the president of all Romanians. Other than disdain, insults, humiliation, and maybe some talks about some abstract growth and development from which they may perhaps hope to have a few drops trickle down to them, what does the Right have to offer these people who need direct support, right now, and how do you intend to be their president as well?

Written by Cavalary on November 24, 2019 at 11:02 PM in Politics | 0 Comments

Planting Trees at Vanatorii Mici

Yesterday I installed Kaspersky Anti-Virus, the installer still saying Comodo was incompatible with it but allowing me to continue without uninstalling it, and at the moment I see two errors about creating registry entries, don’t see any entries to make it run on startup and the active protection doesn’t seem to work locally, but web protection does, including for attempted downloads, so I’ll need to look into that more. This comes after the Bitdefender Antivirus Plus trial ended Monday and I couldn’t even try to stretch it out a bit longer because I tried to update it a bit too late. I thought I remembered that it should have ended Monday afternoon, but it didn’t list an exact date, not to mention time, and actually clearly said that it ended “tomorrow”, so after finally installing this month’s Windows updates and its program update that had been available for a while and rebooting, I tried updating again right away, saw that there was no other update available, then between laundry, eating a little and going to the toilet, I forgot to try again before the time when it should have ended according to what I recalled and did so maybe half an hour later, at which point it disabled itself. So in the evening I uninstalled it, though that took a few tries, the first attempt saying it had errors, the processes in fact still running, then the first attempt done in safe mode again saying it had errors, but after manually removing the registry entry making it start, which seemed to be the only obvious trace left, and running the uninstaller again, it finally said it had been successful.

But the main part of this post has to be about planting trees, though I should start with the day before, Friday, when I meant to sleep as much as I could, but was awake at 2:50 PM and went to pee, tried to get back to sleep, saw I couldn’t and eventually got up at 3:30 PM. And then I decided to make one more trip to that Carrefour, being out at 4:15 PM and back 40 minutes later. Saw a beer bottle on the way, but two men were there, possibly the ones who had just thrown it down, so I didn’t pick it up. Had taken 16 bottles that time though, yet the two of wine and one of liquid soap were rejected by the girl who was also holding the bag I was putting them in, a second one just looking on, as there were three of them there then. Mentioned I had been told that they were fine as long as they were clean, transparent and not of oil, but they said they had new rules, so I took those back and selected 13 vegetables. Some areas were empty, so I guess it was a pretty bad time to go, but I saw celery again, with leaves, and dad had said he wanted some when I asked, so I took four of those, four more kohlrabies, still with leaves, one of those better lettuces, and the usual four Kapia peppers, weighing 485 grams, so the smallest ones yet, though there were some bigger ones in another area, not the one the girl picked from. She used two of those paper bags for all of that, and I said that was also a waste, since I had my own bag and she didn’t actually need to use any, but she said they were required to do so… And then forgot to give me the second bag, or in fact the first one she filled, so I had to remind her.
Tried taking a nap after 7 PM, but gave up after half an hour, since nothing was happening. And then, later that evening, I ended up leaving my computer without checking that Internet Explorer had closed properly after a tab had frozen and I just refreshed and moved on instead of waiting to see whether it’ll recover or forcing the process to close, so it was left using almost all CPU power for some four hours, if not more, SETI@home hardly being able to do any work until I finally got back to the computer, around 1:20 AM, and noticed the problem. As for getting back to bed, did that just after 3 AM, after wasting close to one hour on two attempts to take a shit without anything happening. Felt like it might a bit later, so I got up again and made a third attempt, but just wasted even more time, getting back at 3:35 AM. Then I went to pee again around 4:40 AM, not because I really needed to at that time but hoping it’ll help… And it didn’t, my body just sticking to its usual schedule, so it was around or after 5:30 AM when I finally managed to fall asleep.

Set the alarm to 6:30 AM, but was awake at 6:20 AM and got up, leaving at 7:40 AM, after wasting some more time on the toilet, again without success. Since the meeting place was Victory Square, I took the metro from here and was there at 8:05 AM, looking at one of the “old guard” activists which I had recognized on the metro to figure out which exit to use. Sort of waited for her while climbing the stairs between the two stations, but she seemed to frown at me when I turned to greet her, so just turned back around, not trying to figure out what that was about, and went to the toilet first, to pee one more time before the trip, as by then I had a good enough idea of the exit she was heading towards. And since I mentioned activists, recognized a few others I had seen at protests over the years while there, including two more from said “old guard”. Couldn’t recall the name of one of them though, I guess because he had, shall we say, mostly removed himself from the activities earlier than most, so I looked at him a few times during lunch, trying to remember, and he probably noticed, since after we were both done and left that area he came to greet me. The other one was obviously going to be there, since she works for the NGO that organized this, and it is possible that I pissed her off with some messages I sent, but I’m not sure and she didn’t say anything along those lines when she did reply, so also don’t know whether the fact that she gave no sign of recognizing me was due to simply not noticing or actually trying to make a point.
Getting back to the morning, I stood around for a while, until our names were checked off the list and we got on the buses. Though the organizers said at the end that about 700 volunteers did take part, this being the number which had registered, after they had increased the limit from 600 due to the number of requests, that struck me as rather surprising, because the buses seemed rather empty. Yes, people could get there in their own cars and quite a number did so, but the form asked whether one required transportation or not, and the confirmation e-mail again asked whether there had been any changes regarding that, so they should have known how many bus seats were needed and there seemed far fewer people gathering there than the six buses could hold. Admittedly, only have the exact numbers for the one I was in, but I believe I counted 57 seats and there were only 28 volunteers and the coordinator, meaning exactly half, if I counted correctly. And six buses with 56 seats for volunteers in each would make for less than half the total anyway, so most would have had to drive there even if they’d have been full, which seems rather strange to begin with.
But I guess they know better, and we didn’t leave that much later than announced, the schedule stating 8:30 AM and the first one in fact leaving at 8:33 AM, while most, including the one I was in, followed at 8:40 AM, getting there at 9:30 AM. The only things I’ll mention about the trip are that nobody sat next to me, which was nice, that the driver had a strong air freshener with a very sweet smell, which made me nauseous, and that I kept thinking I knew one of the girls who sat in front of me but couldn’t figure out where from, until it eventually struck me, only on the way back, that she looked a fair bit like Alexandra, so it was just a matter of my mind playing tricks.

Once there, we picked up our kits, which were made up of a backpack containing a hat, a thin vest, gardening gloves and a reusable bottle, and then moved to the area where we were supposed to plant. Water, tea and coffee should have been available while waiting for things to be ready, but there seemed to be problems with the generators and the heaters, so there was only cold water and, while at first we were told we’ll have to wait about ten minutes, the situation hadn’t changed even some 40 minutes later, when the first speeches started. And there was also the fact that cups were made available and I definitely got the impression that they should be used instead of the bottles, and almost everyone who wanted tea or coffee did use them, so I saw few people actually using the bottles, and only for water. Add the fact that cups, tea, coffee and sugar were placed in different spots on the tables but people were just crowding together, and that the cold water was available both on and behind the tables and the water heater was also behind the tables, and you had a bit of a mess, with someone calling it “a real adventure” to get something. I didn’t even notice the exact moment when the speeches started due to being in the crowd gathered around the water heater, just seeing that another crowd had formed a bit away when I looked around after it was clear that there were still no chances of hot water and going there to check out what was going on, returning after that for a cup of tea with water that was still pretty much just cold.
After drinking the tea, I finally walked to what was the area for the team I had been assigned to, not catching the instructions given from the beginning but not really needing to, after having planted trees before. And then, after also signing that we had attended the safety training, which had been one of those first speeches, we could finally start planting, at 10:55 AM or so. We were told to make teams of two though, and of course I didn’t ask anyone, and this time nobody asked me either and nobody just happened to be next to me with a spade and without a teammate without one, so I was left alone and without a spade, looking to the coordinator, which wasn’t the same one from the bus, for a solution. When that girl who had sat in front of me also came to him, I thought we were the ones left alone, but I asked her and she said she had a teammate, just no spade, so the coordinator first sent both of us to bring saplings from the pile, then just sent me to bring three spades from the next area.
So I started working on my own, pleased that the ground was wet and soft, and that there were few roots on that row, so digging was surprisingly easy. The coordinator did go look for a teammate for me, but returned to say everyone had paired up and that maybe he’ll ask me to help him with some things, since it’ll be hard to plant alone, but I said I worked alone the first time I planted and could manage something even then, albeit slowly, so he left me to work, just returning a few times to ask how things were going. And I actually think I did quite well, planting 15 trees on my own until someone else came on my row and, if I counted correctly, ending up with a total of 27 planted on my own and 34 that I was involved in planting. Four of those remaining seven came after I saw others on my row, coming from the other end, as I dug four more holes before they caught up to me and one of them helped me plant in two of them while the other, I guess her daughter, planted in the other two. The other three were towards the end, when I helped someone plant two and also planted one in a hole dug by someone else.
When that woman first came to my row and planted a tree at the end, she started shouting at me, but I didn’t pay any attention when I kept hearing “boy”, “kid”, “what’s his name” and so on, only looking up when I was getting annoyed and just wanted her to shut up, at which point she said I owed a tuica for that, repeating that when she came to help me plant, and also gave me some advice which contradicted what we’re usually told about planting trees, telling me to trust her because she’s a farmer when I pointed that out. But since I didn’t really need help and definitely didn’t want it from someone who was chatty, after we finished with that row and moved on to look for other places to plant in, I went back to working on my own, only switching roles to be the one helping at the very end, as I mentioned above.
There was an even more awkward moment though, involving the coordinator which had been on the bus. She had been busy with those things we had to sign at first, possibly leaving to check that everyone had signed when we started working, and I only saw her again around 11:40 AM, when she brought doughnuts and I took a quick break to grab one, then went back and had another when she said we should take a picture with the doughnuts, that actually being the only one I saw myself in. Well, after finishing with the doughnuts, she got to work as well, and after moving to search for other rows I ended up next to her and she asked me whether she was doing it right and I pretty much shrunk away, saying that I expected a coordinator to know more than me. But she insisted, saying that she hadn’t been there when we had been given the instructions and showing me that the roots, since that area did have plenty of them, caused her to dig holes that were rather hard to plant in, and also adding that it was just a matter of working together, not of asking me for instructions. But I just sort of mumbled something, really feeling like I couldn’t possibly tell her what to do, and focused on working, trying to look for other spots where I could go next.
It was around 1:30 PM or so when we finished, and I was among the last to leave, being in that group searching for any holes left to fill and having a quick look at the trees planted in the area we were in. And then ended up being the very last after I noticed a spade left behind and ran back to get it, needing to keep running to catch up to the rest. Then, though I had been struggling not to piss myself since around 1 PM, I went to have some tea first, since there were lines at the toilets, getting another cup and this time having hot water, so hot that I couldn’t drink it right away and ended up taking it with me in the toilet and then placing it on that thing that was there for washing hands. Kept the cup that time though, putting it in my pocket and using it again when I had some more tea after lunch, so I won’t take a third one then. Other than that, just wandered around for a bit, taking a few more pictures and as a result missing any instructions for my team and even the team’s group picture. I did notice that they had gathered for pictures and ran there in time to be caught in some of them, but I guess one of the first ended up being used, since I couldn’t see myself in any except that one with the doughnuts. As for the two bigger ones made with the drone that I see in the “official” album, I can’t recall whether I noticed when those were taken, so rather doubt I was in that group at all.
Either way, after seeing that others had already left for lunch, around 1:45 PM I went there as well. We had been told at the beginning that teams will go to lunch in groups, depending on when they finish their areas, but at that point I had put the concept of being in a team completely out of my mind, just doing my own thing without even realizing until after the fact that such instructions would still be relevant. And what I did keep in mind proved to be the wrong thing, since when we had first gone to that area, to pick up the kits, the gate that was farther from the field was the entrance and the one that was closer the exit, while for lunch they had apparently been reversed, but when I saw the area with the tables cordoned off on the side of what used to be the exit I just assumed they were the same and went in the other gate, ending up right at what was the head of the line, though at least there wasn’t that much of a line left at that point, many from the earlier group already being at tables. Nobody said anything though, so I only realized what I had done after I had finished eating, the next group came in and they were told which entrance to use and that the area was cordoned off so the line would form around it.
Was confused about the plates and cutlery as well, pleased to notice that we had normal ones, as in reusable ones, not plastic stuff, but seeing all the different types of plates and wondering which to take and what for, ending up taking my cue from some women who were asking each other the same thing and concluding that they should take a bigger one and a smaller one. We were apparently supposed to only take one, for all the food, either putting the dessert there as well or placing it on a napkin, but the first time I heard that was when the next group came in and the announcement was made for them. And I only noticed that the options we had for food were written on a blackboard after I had already taken everything as well, needing to ask what I could pick when I got there and choosing goulash, cabbage salad and two pieces of apple pie, then finding an empty table to sit at and eating quickly, finishing soon after the guy who had been the coordinator for my area and one other joined me, so I quickly got away from them. Can’t say that they were the reason I finished so quickly though, the main one being that there had been so little food, what seemed like a splash of goulash and two spoons of cabbage, and I was actually wondering whether we should have picked more than one dish, because it seemed too little even for me. And I did hear others discuss getting more, and sending each other in turn, but it didn’t seem like something that would normally be accepted, so I decided against trying, though I did just grab another doughnut after putting the plates and utensils in the place for dirty ones, the guy who was there meaning to say something but giving up once the deed was done.
That done, picked up a plastic bottle with some water still in it, using the water to wash my hands again and then putting the bottle in the backpack, changed my muddy boots with the shoes I had taken with me, and was left just standing around, not knowing what else to do. Those who had arrived in their cars were already leaving, just letting the coordinators know and walking away, but the schedule listed a couple of other events after lunch, so I wondered what was going to happen until it was finally announced that nothing else will happen, those who don’t want to keep their kits can drop them off in a box to be reused for other events, those who drove there can leave and those who came by bus can go back to the buses to wait for everyone to finish. So I just left the vest, after having obviously left the dirty gloves in the pile after I finished planting, the backpack, hat and bottle being useful, and then went to stand around the bus for a while longer, until a few others went in and I followed them.

It was a long wait though, since I went in at 2:35 PM and our bus only left at 3:15 PM, and during that time I kept wondering whether I should pee again. But when I saw the first bus move away at 2:50 PM, I kept thinking we’ll leave soon as well and didn’t risk it, and it was fine in the end. Still, that first bus seemed to return after a bit, some others seemed to leave at 2:55 PM, at least some possibly returning as well, and it was also strange when our coordinator just stepped in to say that she had to stay with the others and won’t return with us, that moment also being when some others congratulated the organizers, through her, for how the event had been organized, which struck me as irony and I reacted accordingly, actually laughing out loud and starting to comment before suddenly realizing that they were being serious and looking around in utter confusion. But, either way, the coordinator did return, when the last group of volunteers climbed in, saying that she couldn’t leave us alone after all, which should have been obvious. There were just 26 volunteers returning in the bus though, two announcing that they’ll go on another one, to be with their friends, which probably violated at least some regulations, if not actual laws, but I’m quite sure it would have been illegal for the bus to leave without the person responsible for it.
The girls around me started talking about books, but it seemed to just be non-fiction stuff and not topics I’d exactly care for either, or if I did care then I took issue with the views they expressed, so I mostly just listened, only speaking up to say that mine are like new when they mentioned how they don’t care for their books, usually damaging them quite badly and as a result not loaning any, knowing that others won’t be pleased with the state they’re likely to return them in. Also said a few words about Sapiens when one asked whether anyone read it, and then tried to look her up after getting back and sent her a link to my quick review for it, obviously using the Goodreads one to make the link more trustworthy, and also so I won’t point her here right away. Not that I’m sure I identified her correctly, and there was no reply, though it’s of course very likely that the message wasn’t even seen, filters on Facebook being as they are. I guess that would have been resolved if I’d have agreed to that exchange of information attempted by the coordinator, who asked for our names to add us as friends and to a group, but that just led to another awkward moment after she sat next to me, since I said I don’t add anyone and explained a little, after she seemed confused by the concept at first but then appeared to get the idea quite quickly and said she was sort of the same for a while, before the work made her need to connect with many people.
An odd moment was when the bus just stopped at Pacii metro station, that woman who had helped me, jokingly saying I owed her a tuica, speaking up to say that was as far as we had paid for and the rest of us, the coordinator included, taking it as a joke before realizing that the driver actually did mean to drop us off there. Since that was actually where I was going to go after that, for me it worked out just fine, and apparently for that girl sitting in front of me as well, but that wasn’t the plan, so the coordinator went to have a quick talk with the driver and, when everybody was ready to get off, we got moving again, being told we’ll get back to Victory Square after all. He did drop off that girl and I believe one other earlier, around that big Carrefour, but I didn’t react in time to follow them, so I wasted a fair bit of time, but that also allowed me to make a better plan for later, so it wasn’t a complete waste. On the other hand, the time spent getting around the area that was closed to traffic, also around that big Carrefour, was definitely wasted, and the driver had been unaware of the closure, so he tried to look for a way around, ended up blocking traffic for a few moments while trying to turn where he couldn’t, and eventually went all around, managing to make a joke about taking us sightseeing after he had figured things out.

At 4:21 PM we were finally back in Victory Square and I picked up another bottle I saw in that parking lot, then went to the metro, getting off at Basarab, to go to the Kaufland from there, having passed by it on the way making me realize that it was the much better option. It was just the first stop on my route though, so I just put the backpack and the bag with my muddy boots in a cabinet and checked prices, also noticing that I might in fact be able to buy some more cereals, depending on how things will work out with the cat food. Then walked to that big Carrefour, leaving the backpack and boots there, to pick up again at the end of the planned route. Just checked prices at Carrefour too, finding nothing worth coming back for at that time, and then decided to walk to Politehnica metro station too, though in doing so I realized that it is likely a bit faster to take the metro, even if it’s odd to go for one stop, switch and then go for one more. But that evening I just took the metro for one stop from there, so it’d have been two from Eroilor, to the Cora from that area, and since I went out the wrong exit and had to walk back the length of the station above ground, I also had a quick look inside a Mega Image I happened to pass by, ending up getting searched on the way out, the guard still patting me down even after I took out the bags I had in my jacket’s outer pockets and the folded backpack, notebook and small bag from the inner one. Then, in Cora, I was surprised to see one of those “refills” of cloves which I hadn’t seen in a long time. But I only had a 200 RON bill with me, having wanted to be able to easily hide the money away and not worry about them, and they seem to only get ready to put in self-checkouts, since I saw signs but no machines yet, so I felt it’d have been too awkward to use that for something costing just 3 RON and decided to return for them on the way back.
Finally got to that metro station where the driver meant to drop us off the first time after that, walking to that huge shopping center from there and first heading to that pet shop, getting there at 6:50 PM. Didn’t find any more of the old kind of that cat food though, nor any new ones of that type for that matter, and I actually asked an employee and he checked and said they didn’t have any at all, so I guess the last stock ran out. So I next went to that Auchan, deciding to leave that food for another time, though it’s otherwise cheapest there if the new kind is acceptable, and just got that one that Rocky likes, since my mother had sent me an e-mail asking for another box of those. Their self-checkouts say they’re for less than ten items and a box contains 24 though, so I asked the employee whether I could use it, only going there when she said I could, just needing to wait my turn. The right way to enter a number of items and just scan one slipped my mind just then though, so she came to help me do so before I could figure it out, but there was no other issue and I could then go back to that pet store for that other kind, which I guess all of them eat.
It was 7:31 PM when I was walking out and just missed the free bus I meant to get, actually asking a guy about it when I reached the station and having him say that he didn’t know, since he had only been there for a few minutes, but that it probably did pass, considering the time. But I saw that I could use one of the 7:45 PM ones as well, so I decided to wait… And it came three minutes late, making me wonder why couldn’t the first one have done that instead. Either way, after sort of inviting each other for a moment, I was the next to last one to step on, followed by a woman who said she’ll get off at a certain store which didn’t tell me anything, so I said where I thought I should get off, thinking it’ll be closer and sitting closer to the door, but the driver said that stop will be after hers. But it actually worked out just fine, since I had just been guessing, meaning to go to that bakery as well, and the stop she got off at was actually the one I needed as well, so I followed her out, mumbling something about needing to go to a place that was in between anyway when the driver shouted after me to say that it wasn’t my stop and he’ll stop again at the next one for me.
When I had first passed by that bakery, I had noticed that they were out of one of the kinds of bread I wanted, but by the time I got back there they had a new batch out, still warm, so I got two of those and one of another kind… And then struggled to get them in a bag until the guy who was buying something after me helped, though after I got out I took them out and arranged them better anyway. Then I walked back to the metro and returned to Cora… Only to be turned away by the guard. I had a lot of purchases and couldn’t find cabinets to put them in, so I asked him where to put them, since it’d be too much for sealed bags, and he said they don’t have such places there and there’s nothing he can do, and since they also sell those things he can’t let me in like that. Now I’m sure he could have found a solution, but if he didn’t care enough and I was just going there for those cloves, I just walked away, taking the metro back to that Kaufland. Once there, at exactly 9 PM, checked that my stuff was still in that cabinet, moved it to the larger one where I had placed my purchases, and bought two bags of those cereals, ending up waiting for quite a while at the self-checkout, since some people working for on-demand courier services were using them and they had long lists and seemed to keep having problems. Then I picked up another small bottle that was outside, having noticed it on the way in, deciding to leave yet another one where it was due to it still having liquid in it, and got back to the metro. Rearranged the stuff in the bags and backpacks before getting back out, ending up carrying the backpack I had received sort of under the one I had taken with me, to get more weight off my hands, and was finally entering the building at 9:55 PM.

After all of that, Sunday morning I was up at 8:10 AM and decided to get the part about the bottles over with, since it was the last day of that campaign at that Carrefour and I had asked dad the previous evening to look through those he keeps around and leave any he doesn’t think he’ll actually be using again soon, which easily got me to the limit of 20. So at 9:10 AM I was going out, and once there I had to stand in the longest line yet, which I guess was to be expected. An older woman was saying that she had talked to some employees and they said they hadn’t yet received the vegetables for that day, so what was there must have been left since the day before, but considering the line, I highly doubted that. But when one of the girls called to ask for more things to be brought, the two who were ahead of me stood aside, saying they’ll wait for the new vegetables and asking me whether I wanted to get something from what was still there. And I said I did, though the new stuff actually arrived just as I was leaving. So I got the usual four Kapia peppers, weighing just over 540 grams, four Bianca peppers, weighing 435 grams, four tomatoes, weighing just about 695 grams, four bundles of green onions and, after deciding against more kohlrabies, just what ended up being five cucumbers. Should have received four, of course, but they were tiny and I noticed when I got back that the girl had given me five, though even so they weighed just under 180 grams put together. Looking at all of that, I actually had the feeling that the fact that I had accepted what they already had instead of waiting for the new stuff hadn’t escaped her, and she had actually tried to pick the better ones, only the green onions being a bit worse.
After that, bought a few things from there as well, and on the way out exchanged five more batteries for one new one, and also had a look at the event about food, or more exactly food waste, that was taking place in that festival’s main area at that time. Had actually been wondering about that, having seen no information on-line other than the name, so started reading the information, becoming more interested when I noticed that it was organized by the NGO organizing the tree planting taking place on November 30, the same one which had organized all those three I went to last year. Since I was the only one there, one of the two women approached me and I talked to her about the event’s topic for a bit, but then I asked for some more information about the planting, at which point the other one stepped in and mainly just told me what I had already seen in the message received from them, which she mentioned multiple times, saying that it must have been how I heard of it anyway. One thing I asked about which wasn’t mentioned there was the time when we’ll get back, but she said there’s no fixed schedule, it depends on when we’ll finish, but since we can’t plant after dark, we should stop by 3:30 PM and start getting ready to leave if we won’t be done earlier. Still, despite the lack of additional information and the late date, which makes me worry about the weather despite the very warm autumn we had, Monday evening I registered for it, so I’ll be planting twice this autumn. And, to return to Sunday, was out of there at 10:55 AM and back a bit before 11:15 AM… And finally got a bit more sleep, albeit only some four hours, in the afternoon, staying in bed a while longer but not sleeping more just then.

Moving on, the only timed squats during this period were Friday, 2:14, in the kitchen, and Monday, 2:26. And this week’s run was Tuesday, when the alarm rang at 1:30 PM and I went out at 3:30 PM, after having had a pretzel instead of those wheat things. The conditions were nice, seeing 16°C reported when I left, dropping a little by the time I got back, and with the wind only enough to let me feel that it existed in some spots, without being an issue. And there were few people as well, and some of them actually paid attention and cleared the way, so the losses were negligible, making it unsurprising when you think about it that I was faster again, the time being 47:23.04, with sector times of 4:26.03, 5:00.22, 5:51.46, 4:23.15, 5:03 (5:02.17), 5:48.18, 4:26.56, 4:58.16, 5:45 (5:44.21) and 1:43 (1:42.90), making for lap times of 15:17.71, 15:14 (15:13.50) and 15:09 (15:08.93). Nice to see that each lap was faster than the one before it, and the final sector was great as well.
Still felt a bit tired and my right knee also bothered me a little at first, so I was just aiming to stay under 48 minutes, and I started more slowly than I meant to due to my keys sitting badly in my pocket, making me think they’ll fly out, which resulted in some seconds lost as I first tried to arrange them better while running and then took them out and arranged my pocket before putting them back in. The one roadblock I ran into was also during that first sector, but slowing to wait for a way through allowed me to arrange things better then, so I don’t think it caused any additional loss of time. And with my knee also getting better after a while, I could push harder, yet it was only after the third lap’s first sector that I thought to target last week’s time. And then, since it was so close, after the following sector I thought of 47:30 as well, pushing really hard and managing it in the end.

A few minutes before 5 PM I was back out, rushing back to that Auchan in Militari. But since I went there again after what I saw when I went to the Vitan one the day before, I’ll start there, where I mainly went for cat litter. Also took out the paper, noticing that the bin next to the school was gone and using another nearby one, then waited for several minutes for the free bus and, since I had also taken one liter of used cooking oil with me, dropped it off there and received dishwashing liquid in exchange, the exact type actually being better than what was listed for this quantity. Then I got two bags of cat litter and checked the cat food, seeing that what I had noticed on the site was indeed true, Auchan having also increased the price for that kind a fair bit despite also only having the new ones, that have 85 grams instead of 100. Then I waited for close to 20 minutes for the free bus to even get there, which meant that it only arrived after it should have already left again, and only left ten minutes after it should have. And the driver also apparently didn’t hear me when I asked him to also stop here, so I had to say it again after he passed the spot and he dropped me off a bit farther.
So I was wondering whether they still had that cat food at the old price in Militari, the site listing it as unavailable there when I knew I had seen it. Rushed on the way to Dristor, but didn’t run, so I was there at 5:15 PM and out of the metro at 5:40 PM, continuing to rush and reaching that Auchan at exactly 6 PM. Found plenty of that food, so grabbed 25, along with the box, which I eventually put in a recycling bin on the way back, then used the self-checkout without issues and it wasn’t even 6:10 PM when I was out of the store, not exactly rushing to the free bus stop, since I was using the exit that was closer to it and could see if one would arrive sooner. However, while one that I could use should have arrived at 6:15 PM, there was still no movement even at 6:23 PM, when I decided to cut my losses and just walk. Kept glancing back at first, to see whether any of them got moving, but then I picked up the pace again and hurried as much as I could. Had the food in an old bag I had used for some of those plastic bottles I took to Carrefour, one that for some reason had 2007, 2008 and 2009 written on it, and one of its handles ripped pretty much right as I started walking faster, but I just carried it in my arms and kept pushing, and didn’t see any of the free buses pass me by the time I reached the metro station, at 6:41 PM, and I doubt it’d have even been possible, considering the traffic and that none had moved the last time I looked back. Was back at 7:25 PM, just in time for the start of the match… And badly burned a few biscuits I tried heating in the microwave, mainly because dad had placed the thin bag they were in on the tray some meat came in. Parts were fine, but others were just charred, and I threw away much of one, though I just ate the rest.

Believe it or not, this actually isn’t the longest post I ever wrote, at least one being a bit longer, but if I won’t cut this paragraph short that may no longer be the case. So I will do just that, after mentioning that I actually only wrote the part about Saturday today, the rest of it being written yesterday, and that the water I took a shower with when I took a break, after getting to the buses returning to Victory Square, was quite brown. And no, I don’t really know what the week’s second post will be at the moment, and I could have split this in two, stopping after Sunday, if not even after Saturday, but a second personal one would mean using up another one of those old book reviews, and maybe there’s a chance I’ll avoid that for one more week.

Written by Cavalary on November 21, 2019 at 9:50 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

New Finds – XIX

I’m continuing with the quick posts in this series as I keep trying to avoid needing to use more of those old book reviews to make room for more personal posts, and this one will be a particularly quick one if I’m to also post it before midnight and therefore make it this week’s second post. But at least the choice of bands was easy, since it would appear that what I had mentioned in the previous such post, what I assumed to be the banning of guy spamming the Power of Female Fronted Metal group, cross-posting stuff, was in fact a momentary issue and his posts reappeared after a few days, and that led to me not checking things at all anymore, feeling completely overwhelmed now that I also had older stuff to look at, posted before the date when I had last checked. But I did look one more time, going through just a few of those older ones, and ended up with a new and good band from Hungary, and the last one I had stumbled into before that, before his posts reappeared, was also from there. And I had one more band from there which I hadn’t included yet, and three should be enough for such a post, even if I had another that included three bands from Hungary only last year, though they weren’t the only ones in it then.

To go through them in that order, I’ll start with Tales of Evening, and I’ll say right away that they’re by far the best of the three. They’ve been around for several years, but their first album in English was just released earlier this month, so I couldn’t have really heard of them sooner, though I understand that they did have two songs that were also released in English in their early years, and one of them has a video as well, so I’ll go with that one, Winds Will Rise, as my first pick. The second one is much harder, on the other hand, since I really like what I’m hearing and can’t sit here to listen carefully and try to make a choice I’ll have the best chance to be content with later as well. Still, even though I understand that it’s included as a bonus track on that album, I’ll go with Flower of Frost. I may just end up a little lost in this one, listening to it on repeat for a while…

Moving on to the band I had stumbled into earlier, that’s Leecher and, despite calling themselves “cello metal”, they have a harsher sound on most songs, with some growls, albeit softer ones, on some of them as well. That means it’s possible that it’s not actually the first time I heard of them, but happened to hear one of those songs before and immediately dismissed them, yet those songs seem to be in the minority, so I’ll be including them now. Having their earlier songs on what so far is their only full album does make it difficult for me to stick to that rule of selecting the two songs from different releases if the band in question doesn’t have just one, but I guess I’ll go with Eclipse, which was originally the title song of their first EP, as my first pick. As for the second, I was considering two or three, but in the end I’ll just take the easy way and pick Fading, since they have a proper video for it as well.

As for the third band, that’s Half Past Dark and they only have one album so far, and apparently only two of their own songs from it, Fairy Tale and Saddenly, officially posted. At least that means I don’t need to choose, the picks being obvious, and it’s also not my problem that they can’t be from different releases. On Fairy Tale there are obvious problems with the vocals, on Saddenly the sound’s different in a way that I wouldn’t normally care for too much, and they’re not a band I’d have really considered including in such a post at this time if I’d have selected them individually, but it’s here to at least get to three and, with the other two being from there, not leave out any of those from Hungary which I had heard of so far and hadn’t completely dismissed.

Written by Cavalary on November 17, 2019 at 11:51 PM in Music | 0 Comments

Chest and Network Worries, More Vegetables for Plastic Bottles, Infuriating "Debate"

Something isn’t right, though I don’t know whether it’s something in my chest, which would be a serious problem, or a new effect of that bone spur on my spine, which has been acting up more lately. Either way, something feels wrong when I breathe, and it’s not new, having occasionally happened for months, if not pretty much all year, but it definitely got worse lately, in the sense that I feel it almost all the time and Monday morning before going to bed it was no longer just a strange feeling but I actually felt like I had some difficulty breathing, though it went away by the time I woke up. It was enough to finally make me ask dad to take me to have it checked out, before making the payments for next year’s half marathon and marathon, in case it’s something bad and will require spending a lot now or even prevent me from taking part in such runs then, but he meant to go there to take care of something for my mother tomorrow and I can’t go with him then, since I’ll be planting trees Saturday after getting hardly any sleep that morning, so tomorrow I want to get up as late as I can and possibly get back in bed for a little nap after eating something and getting the stuff I’ll take with me ready. May spare an hour for another trip for some more vegetables in exchange for plastic bottles if I won’t be able to sleep that late, but being at the doctor at a certain time, which may even be in the morning, depending on her schedule, and waiting there for what will probably be hours, since that’s how it goes with her, is definitely out. But maybe he’ll get me scheduled and we’ll go next week. But, of course, it’s a scary prospect.

Still on the topic of worries and health, but this time having to do with how someone else’s may end up affecting me, Tuesday afternoon, around or probably a bit before 1:40 PM, I noticed that the network signal was completely gone, as if somebody had cut the cable again, and since dad was here, I immediately told him to call the guy. Minutes later, I made the connection with the fact that I had noticed the elevator being serviced when I went out that morning, which was likely to require turning off power to the place where the building’s switch is at some point, and that did seem to be the case, as it recovered at 2 PM, but by then dad had already called and learned that the guy’s in hospital and will remain there until Friday evening, having kidney problems checked out, and he doesn’t have anyone else to handle such matters if he’s unavailable. So, on top of possibly having such problems that may take a long time to fix if the situation will repeat itself, if he’ll have his own health to worry about, and pay for, I fear for this little network’s future. Judging from the public financial reports I could find, while managing to greatly reduce its losses despite the revenue dropping to a level indicating just a few dozen remaining subscribers, if even that, it seems to have next to no remaining assets anyway, so I’m not sure what the future was likely to bring even without these added problems, but under these circumstances I fear even more.

Since I already mentioned having been out Tuesday morning, that was to get some more vegetables for plastic bottles from that Carrefour. Hadn’t tried again over the weekend or Monday and that was probably a bad choice, since I haven’t seen corn again these days, since I went on each of these last three days, but there were always Kapia peppers, Bianca peppers and green onions. But, getting back to Tuesday, I was up at 9:15 AM and left at 10:20 AM, taking out a few plastic and metal things and a glass bottle dad broke, and going to that Carrefour with ten plastic bottles, which I exchanged for four Kapia peppers, weighing about 550 grams, three kohlrabies, two Bianca peppers, weighing about 260 grams after I removed a rotten part one had, and one bundle of green onions. The girl told me she had to pick the moment I tried to pick one Kapia pepper myself, so I obviously allowed her to do that, and I also asked whether I could bring wine and vinegar bottles, and after asking the other one, since I’ve seen two of them there these days, she said I could, as long as they were washed and transparent. And I finally saw a place for expiring things in that location as well, though at the time the stuff that should be refrigerated was simply dumped in two carts, which was a huge problem from where I’m standing. They did place them properly since then though, since I looked again today.
That day I had also taken those 20 batteries that I’ve kept trying to exchange for four new ones recently, meaning to go to a location of that store that should exchange them like that which should be behind the park. However, I didn’t get that far, because some environmental film and technology festival is taking place in that mall this week and I saw that they had a machine exchanging used batteries the same way, one new one for five, so I went there on the way out and got the four new batteries. The machine seems to be just for show, however, that space mainly being intended for children, as it would seem that a new battery comes out whenever you press the button for it, regardless of how many used ones you put in, and the slot for AAA ones was already stuck anyway, the woman who came there as soon as I started using the machine telling me that after I tried putting some in and saw that I couldn’t. But since it didn’t matter where you put them, I just put all of them in the AA slot and pressed the AA button, noticing that it just worked on its own when trying to do so after being told of that other slot being stuck and getting a new battery right away even if I had only tried to put three in and none of them had really gone through. But I just put in the 20 I had, got the four I should have gotten and walked away, getting back at 11:10 AM.

Yesterday the idea was to go see Blue Heart at that festival mentioned above, and I had requested an invitation by e-mail, since doing so was required, and it was confirmed. So I was obviously going to take some more plastic bottles to that Carrefour, but with the movie supposed to start at 7:30 PM, I was going to go later, and left at 5:55 PM, giving myself time in case there will be lines, seeing as that’s pretty much the rush hour and I had 30 more batteries to exchange as well. But I could exchange the 12 bottles well enough, the issue being that I had taken 12 of the largest ones and had pressed them as well, to fit them all in one bag, and they didn’t fit through the holes when pressed like that and, while the girl first offered to get a bag for me to put them directly in it, she then returned to say they had no more bags available, so I had to struggle to make them fit one by one. Once that was done, I got the usual four Kapia peppers, again all of them good and weighing about 650 grams, four Bianca peppers, weighing about 335 grams, this time weighed without first removing the rotten bits that one of them again had, one lettuce and, since nothing else of interest was still available at that time, three more bundles of green onions, which didn’t look that good either. And then I went to exchange those 30 batteries as well, confirming that the machine was indeed only for show when a guy came as soon as I got there and told me that they had removed the new batteries from it since children kept pressing the button and getting new ones. I could still put them in it, and I did, but he didn’t bother to count, believing me when I said I had 30 and giving me six in exchange.
Since I had seen that this walk only takes me 15 minutes and I had nothing else to do, at 6:25 PM I was outside and walked back to drop things off, leaving again at 6:55 PM and entering the Cinema City from there at 7:15 PM. Even the speeches only started at 7:40 PM though, and one of them really dragged on, the movie only starting at 8:10 PM, by which time the moderator was quite desperate, as the schedule listed the event as ending at 9 PM and that meant that the movie itself only ended five minutes before that. But a debate was supposed to take place after the movie and another guest was given ten minutes to speak before questions were to be taken from the audience… And she ended up speaking for 20 minutes, and almost entirely in favor of the dams and against those who oppose such “development” in general, which made me so furious that I stared daggers at her almost the entire time and often managed to not look away when we seemed to make eye contact, and I was on the fourth row, with that side of the first two being empty, and had my cap off as well, so I’d say she noticed. One guy, whom I had recognized as having exchanged some plastic bottles for vegetables just before me and who had brought that paper bag with him there, did try to speak at one point and wasn’t allowed then, but at least the moderator did give him a chance after that woman finally finished and he outlined, in a calm and gentle voice, three problems of the dams, giving some quick examples… Only for that woman to be given the last word as well, to quickly reply to him before things ended, at 9:20 PM, when it would appear that the next movie was about to start there, those who had tickets for it waiting at the door. So I took it slowly at first, trying to calm down and only getting outside at 9:30 PM, then walked back and wrote them a long comment on the event page, but there was no reaction.

As for today, I was peeing at 7:20 AM and at first decided to stay up, then got back under the blanket, then got back up to check and saw that the Carrefour from there opens at 8 AM and decided once again to get up, taking 12 more bottles and leaving at 8:45 AM, hoping to find better things if I’ll go early. It seems that plenty of others had the same idea, however, since it was the first time I actually had to wait in line for a few minutes, though at least I didn’t have to put the bottles in one by one anymore, the girl just taking my bag and emptying it in a bag. The thing is that they had radishes, this being the first time I saw that, but they had just finished when my turn came and I heard the girl ask for more to be brought, but decided against asking whether I could wait, so I just got four more Kapia peppers, weighing just over 740 grams, four tomatoes, which I also hadn’t seen before, these weighing about 770 grams but not looking too good, and I’ll be throwing out a fair bit of at least one of them, and four cucumbers, weighing about 370 grams. Then I went inside and bought a few things, including something to eat right away, and I did so after getting outside, sitting on a bench, so I ended up only entering the building at 10:30 AM and, after putting everything away, getting back in bed a little after 11 AM.

Only timed my squats today, when I did two series, in 2:15 and 2:19, respectively, and Sunday, when I did them in 2:22. But at least this week’s run, which was Monday, finally broke that series, being a few seconds faster than last week’s, in spite of dad asking me to help him move a piece of furniture after I woke up, or more exactly after he woke me up with a sneezing fit, also being unable to take a shit before going, and feeling rather weak and being worried about my breathing while running. Also felt bad about how things turned out with that piece of furniture, since he had turned it around in a different way, so I’ll be able to hold on to it better, and then when turning it back one of the legs he had put on it came off, taking a part of the bottom with it, and while he said that he’d have had to turn it back around either way, I was left wondering whether it would have still happened if I wouldn’t have failed to hold on to it the way it was at first.
Either way, the conditions were otherwise good, I had the usual stuff plus the last of the corn, there were fewer people than in recent weeks as well, and time was 47:38.14, with sector times of 4:26.37, 5:02 (5:01.67), 5:46.92, 4:27 (4:26.44), 4:58.08, 5:46.29, 4:29 (4:28.72), 5:06 (5:05.58), 5:46.24 and 1:52 (1:51.83), making for lap times of 15:14.96, 15:11 (15:10.81) and 15:21 (15:20.54). The first little issue came early, when something got in my eye as I ran through a cloud of bugs just before the bridge, on sector one of lap one, and I likely lost a bit of time trying to get it out, or at least make it not bother me anymore. Then, on sector two of lap two, a guy with a dog was coming from the opposite direction and the dog suddenly rushed towards the lake as I was about to go past them on that side, cutting me off and forcing me to quickly need to avoid them, going the long way around dog, leash and master. And then there was the matter of losing the light, as I went out at 4:05 PM and by the end I was struggling to see the time, slowing down for a few moments in order to be able to do so at the start of sectors two and three of lap three. Not that I could see the hundredths better after sector three of lap three either, but I didn’t even try, so I didn’t slow again at the start of the final sector, only looking after I was done, since that last intermediate time remains listed. And, speaking of intermediate times, nice how I managed nearly identical sector three times on all laps, and also nearly identical sector one times on the first two and being only a couple of seconds slower on the third.
However, the most annoying bit involved a truck that seemed to chase me from the end of lap two and through much of lap three’s first sector. I didn’t actually turn to get a good look, but it was likely the one loading bags of leaves, which I had seen before, albeit going in the opposite direction, and which I had needed to rather squeeze past on sector one of lap one as well, and at that point I heard it approach and moved to the edge of the path, to allow it to pass, yet the driver didn’t seem to want to, getting pretty much alongside me and staying there for a while. When I noticed that it wasn’t about to pass, I tried to pick up the pace and it actually fell behind a little, but only a little, staying right behind me until it eventually stopped some time later. It’s possible that the driver was doing that just so he won’t bother me, but I felt that he was egging me on and it didn’t seem safe to have the truck right there for so long, and trying to stay at the very edge of the path to leave room for it wasn’t exactly comfortable either. Plus that having me there and the truck next to me left those coming from the opposite direction with nowhere to go, and there were a couple of cyclists who had to act quickly as a result.

Written by Cavalary on November 14, 2019 at 11:37 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Air and Forests Marches, Recycling Kits and Vegetables for Plastic Bottles

Last Saturday I woke up at 9 AM, when the alarm rang, and was out the door at 10:15 AM, having the metro card but walking to the National Library. My back started hurting as I rushed to cross a street, but I was careful after that and it got better, so I got there at 10:55 AM and it wasn’t a problem during the march. Did again take a vest, and also a mask, and eventually also a sign, though I left that rather late and there were none with the text I had wanted to have left by the time I did. Still, it was a good thing I at least took one when I did, because I was quite surprised when the march started at 11:35 AM, when I’d have expected to only get going at noon and the organizers seemed to think the same at first, and then I was right next to them when they had settled on 11:45 AM as a compromise, in a discussion with the gendarmes, who seemed to want to rush things for some reason. But that bossy woman, who had wanted to rush things as soon as she arrived, got things moving sooner and most just followed, leaving the rest with little choice but to do the same. And at least we were visible due to the gear, even if the march was again almost completely silent, to the point that I found myself wanting to lead some shouts, though of course I couldn’t get myself to actually do it. So I just walked with the rest, we reached the Ministry at 12:15 PM and it wasn’t even 12:30 PM when the call was made to end things, and those taking pictures were specifically asked to either not post those with children at all or blur their faces, so I hope I didn’t leave any unblurred in what I posted.
Left there at 12:35 PM and walked to Unirii, searching again on the way for that store I had failed to find Wednesday, since I had taken those used batteries with me again, but it’s apparently not there anymore, some other supermarket being in the spot where I thought it should have been and not finding it elsewhere in that area even if I circled it, having a look on some streets behind the buildings as well. My bladder was screaming loudly enough by the time I was leaving that area that I considered just stopping in one of those alleys, but managed to make it to the toilet in Unirea Shopping Center, then went to that Carrefour and got a few things, including another yogurt, expiring later, still at that low price. Finally used the metro card after that, but got off at Romana, deciding to finally get around to checking out a pastry place I had been meaning to get something from for several months and doing so. Then I got back, being here around 2:40 PM, maybe 2:45 PM, feeling increasingly tired and weak. The nap I took in the evening didn’t help much, but at least I finished Elantris, so I could pretty much also write the quick review that night and then look over it again and post it before leaving the next day.

Said next day I actually did use the metro card to get there as well, leaving at 5:15 PM and being at University Square at 5:45 PM. That meant I was there when the organizers were talking to the gendarmes about the march and saw that even they didn’t expect anything like the numbers that ended up participating, saying that they had listed 1000 participants in the protocol and weren’t even sure of that and attempting to negotiate for the march to at least be allowed on the street where the sidewalk will be particularly narrow or blocked, not all the way. Other than that, I mostly did what I usually do, rather hiding behind the camera and wandering around to take pictures, actually learning to make some better use of the new one when it’s dark while doing so. Can’t in any way compensate for the lack of the manual mode, but it worked well enough most of the time, only a few shots ending up unusable.
Did do something unusual around 6:45 PM, since the speeches had been going on for a few minutes in front of the fountain but those who were behind the fountain had also decided to start shouting and chanting around that same time, which resulted in quite a mess. Others were commenting, wondering whether there were different organizers, but I decided to actually do something about it, making my way there, finding the girl with the loudspeaker and telling her that she was breaking things up, since speeches had started, and then managing to also say that it sort of does when she replied that it didn’t carry all the way to the front, which actually seems to have led to her stopping, even if I rushed away as soon as those last words left my mouth, this having already been just about too much.
Got back to hiding behind the camera after that, and when the march started, obviously on the street, the numbers making the gendarmes allow it without problems, I climbed on that little wall around the entrance to the metro station and kept taking pictures of signs until the end of the crowd was near, after which I rushed forward, catching up, looking for more good opportunities for more shots along the way and then staying just behind those holding the large banners at the head of the march and joining in the shouting and chanting until the Ministry was reached, at exactly 8 PM. Took a few more pictures there as well, before sort of following those who kept going for a little while, turning around when they seemed to be getting too far, then sort of turning around again to weakly shout after them to return when one of the organizers started calling them back through the loudspeaker. Got back in front of the Ministry when I saw that they had stopped, first taking some more pictures and eventually finding myself a spot in that group gathered around the speakers, before stepping back into the crowd, though still at the front of it, when someone asked those who had gathered there to do so.
After the call to end the event came, at 8:40 PM, I really wanted to help gather the banners, but ended up just sort of hovering around those doing it, not managing to get myself to actually lend a hand until the end, when most others had cleared the area and I saw a girl starting to roll up one of the larger ones on her own. After that, since some were sticking around to shout and chant a while longer, I joined them for a few more minutes, walking away at 8:50 PM… And finding a metro card with one trip left as I did so. It was just there, on the street, and I actually checked it when I got to the metro station, making sure that it wasn’t a case of that last use not being printed on it. Was back at 9:30 PM.

Tuesday I wanted to write the post about the protests, but I was talking to my mother in the kitchen after waking up, since she’s here this week, and when I mentioned Auchan’s rewards for used cooking oil and that I thought we had just gathered enough for something useful, she said that dad had just taken it away, supposedly for the building’s cleaning lady to pick up. It’s possible, even likely, that she disposes of it properly, possibly taking it to such a place herself, but that’s uncertain and, either way, the point was first that I wanted to see how that worked myself, and then that I keep trying to get them to take responsibility for what they throw away, not keep seeing it as trash to get rid of, for someone else to handle. So I even stopped making tea and put what I had taken to eat back, too furious to stay there anymore, only getting back for cereals and yogurt, and grapes, after they left to take Micky to have some tests done.
Dad brought the oil back when he got back, since it hadn’t been taken away yet, but by then I had seen an e-mail asking people again to come help put together more of those recycling kits, the number of volunteers having dropped sharply, and since I thought I had their “sins” to make up for, I had decided to go again after all, despite having said that I won’t do so after last time. Had since then also received a reply to that e-mail sent then, which made it seem that things were good, at least from Olga’s point of view, and she had already invited me to keep coming, including when I’ll be able to just be there on my own, and they had also changed the way things are done, anyone being able to come like that, whenever they wanted, listing themselves in a document. So I saw that nobody was scheduled between 5 PM and 7 PM and just one person from 7 PM, listed myself as being there between 5 PM and 8 PM and left at 3:35 PM, taking the paper out as well.
Didn’t have the metro card and also went to that pharmacy first, for toothpaste, and after that I ended up going the wrong way… And finding another metro card. Spotted it on the sidewalk, sticking out from underneath a discarded campaign “newspaper”, and saw eight trips left when I looked on it, but when I actually checked it at a metro station it said that just two were left, so a lot of uses hadn’t been printed, but it’s still something. The delay did make me think I’ll be a little late, but ended up on that street at exactly 5 PM and going through the door a couple of minutes later… And finding a group of people gathered right there, those who had volunteered to help earlier just leaving and the NGOs members apparently getting ready to have a meeting, which they confirmed was indeed the case when I asked.
That meant I was left to work completely on my own, which they apologized for several times but which was great from my point of view. And I also only had to fold and stack those sheets of paper and the stickers, plus a slip with the necessary information for those wanting to donate, since apparently five people had come earlier, after seeing the e-mail, even though only two had listed themselves in the file, and they filled all the envelopes, so more kits couldn’t actually be completed, but they could be prepared, so they’ll just have to put one of these prepared stacks and the bags in when they’ll get more envelopes, and piles of such stacks had already been made. So I just added to those piles, working until 7:15 PM. Had at first been told that the meeting would only last for about one hour and they’ll leave after that, being tired after putting in long hours the week before, but it lasted for two and I made full use of that time. Took it very slowly on the way back though, only being back here at 8:45 PM, and didn’t drink anything that day, since I didn’t care to make tea after that point.

This week’s run was Thursday. Ate the usual stuff, dressed the usual way, making a note of the fact that I’m still running in my t-shirt in November and will do so next week as well, the highs remaining around 20°C, and went out at 3:35 PM. The conditions were good, there was little wind and even the people were less of a problem, still requiring weaving and going the long way around in some places but less so than during past weeks. Nevertheless, 47:46.21 is my worst time in quite a while, and even that required pushing. Sector times were 4:26.88, 5:00.06, 5:50 (5:49.65), 4:27 (4:26.81), 5:08.27, 5:50 (5.49.43), 4:28.83, 5:03 (5:02.43), 5:47 (5:46.77) and 1:47.08, making for lap times of 15:16.59, 15:25 (15:24.51) and 15:18.03. Had to manage my back a bit at first, but it was fine after that. Due to the back issue, the first sector’s time didn’t worry me that much, but sector two of lap two did and at that point I was concerned about even staying under 48 minutes, so I really pushed from sector three of lap two and it worked out in the end. This is the third run in a row that’s slower than the previous one though, and unless the trend reverses there’s not much room left under 48 minutes…

Went back out after the run, leaving at 5:15 PM and taking the stuff I drop off at Kaufland too, since that’s where I mainly meant to go, seeing that one of the day’s discounts was for onions and we needed more. But I first left that stuff in a cabinet without a key and checked that Carrefour too, and found a carton of free range eggs and a better yogurt in that place with things that expire soon, and got one more large cup of that regular yogurt too, since it was still at that low price and expired even later. That meant I couldn’t get the tofu I had meant to get from Kaufland anymore, and couldn’t find the exact kind of another thing which should have been discounted these days, but did get onions and a few more cheap things… And then ended up asking for help at the self-checkout, first because it seemed to not accept the onions, telling me that the product had been removed and to place it again on the scales even though it was there, and picking it up and putting it down again didn’t change anything, but then the next problem presented itself after the employee came to override that message, since the onions scanned at the full price. The employee quickly scanned the other things as well and showed me that the discount was applied before the total was made, but that definitely doesn’t seem right. I mean, how’s the customer supposed to know that, and to check that it is correctly applied before needing to pay? But at least it was sorted out and, after getting this month’s issue of National Geographic too, having forgotten to also look for that in Kaufland, I walked back slowly, getting to the building at 7:30 PM.

Friday morning I ended up waking up just before 9:30 AM, when my phone rang and I ended up listening to a recorded message from USR’s candidate for the presidential elections asking supporters to try to get five more people to vote, specifying that I had allowed my number to be in their database, which is indeed the case, I believe after filling a survey at one point. But then I made good use of that, since that was the first day when Carrefour’s campaign rewarding those who bring plastic bottles with local fruits and vegetables, at the outstanding rate of one fruit or vegetable per bottle, reached their location next to the park, and I obviously meant to go relatively early, thinking that the better stuff will vanish quickly.
Had checked what I could the night before and also asked them for details, after seeing that they had replied to someone else a week earlier to say that they’ll post the complete terms before the campaign will start but hadn’t, and checked their reply before leaving. So I confirmed what someone else had said earlier, that the maximum is 20 bottles per person per day, also learned that another limit is four pieces of any one product, and saw a picture of what was available, managing to identify most of the vegetables and to see that the only other thing were apples. Also learned what kind of bottles they accept, so I knew to leave some aside, then selected the 20 to take, starting with all the smaller ones that they were going to accept, also took the plastic to drop off and left a bit after 11:30 AM, getting back pretty much exactly one hour later.
There was a young girl there who had to do everything herself, actually count the bottles people were putting in, and I guess also glance at them to determine whether they were acceptable or not, help people take the products chosen, ensure that they stick to the limit, write things down by hand, put everything in the paper bag they were providing, staple it closed, and somehow also answer the questions others were asking during this time. And she still paid more attention than I did to what I was getting, spotting that one of the ears of corn I picked was rotten, with slime dripping from it, and replacing it with another. Admittedly, I sort of went with the idea that you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, considering how rewarding this campaign is, and just grabbed some of the things and let her help with the rest, and ended up with a Bianca pepper that didn’t look too good and another ear of corn with the tip quite eaten through by something, but the other stuff’s really good, and I should have noticed something as rotten as that corn right away myself. But I ended up with four ears of corn, four Kapia peppers, weighing 530 grams, four bundles of green onions, four kohlrabies, with leaves, three Bianca peppers, weighing 280 grams, and one lettuce.
Didn’t check the prices of those things at that moment, though I did go in the store after that, buying one thing that was on sale, but based on what I know the total is well over 20 RON, likely around or even a bit over 30 RON, if the corn is as expensive in the store as it says on the site, so over 1 RON and maybe even over 1.5 RON per plastic bottle, instead of the 0.02 RON offered by those machines! Of course, it is a very limited campaign, and the better things may be gone quickly, and it’s possible that one of the vegetables was already gone by the time I got there, but I do have quite a number of bottles left and mean to go again next week, multiple times, likely with less bottles at once, looking for more corn first, if it’ll still be available, since I think I only bought corn to boil once this year. Kapia peppers are the second priority, and then I’ll see.

As for this period’s timed squats, those were 2:21 on November 2, 2:17 on November 3, 2:21 on November 4, 2:23 on November 5, 2:21 on November 6, 2:25 on November 7 and 2:22 today. And since I’m at odds and ends, there’s just one more thing to add and it happened before eating Wednesday night, though probably after midnight, so already Thursday. Either way, I spotted something on the wall behind me and killed it with my slipper, trying to wipe what it left on the wall a little but not thinking much of it until I turned on the light when I got back from the kitchen and saw that what was left was a significant amount of blood. No idea what it had been, but it had obviously been full of blood, and since it was in my room, I’m going to assume that it was mine, so I was left wondering about that and whether there will be any consequences of the bite. Didn’t manage to find any bite mark though…

Written by Cavalary on November 9, 2019 at 9:50 PM in Personal | 0 Comments