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Fig Trees Being Cleared, Finished Ember, Chipped Tooth Crown, Catching Up

Currently watching with anger as an old woman is clearing out the fig trees planted here a few years ago by a guy I understand is the father of the one living below us. Seems like the guy living here just noticed her now and started yelling at her, went out to argue too, but it’s too late for most of the trees. She justified her actions by the fact that she saw somebody hide a bag among those trees and come back for it later, and that she found some pieces of iron supposedly hidden there, and she doesn’t want such hiding places in front of her window, which actually is at a higher floor and not even right above us here, so not where these trees were. Even if the authorities would be called by this guy, as he’s threatening to do, at most they’ll fine her, and even that’s questionable, but nobody’ll restore those trees now…

But this post was meant to let me finally catch up, allowing this week’s second one to be the review for Ember, which I finished Sunday. Not that I’m sure I’ll manage to write that by the end of the week, of course, but I intend to try. Friday’s probably not an option though, since I’ll be quite a mess after needing to wake up early and go to the dentist, as last night while I was eating it seems that the crown put in a year and a half ago cracked and Friday morning was apparently the only free slot they had for an appointment now. It’s odd though, since I heard, and felt, something crack and managed to pull an almost invisibly thin piece of something white and brittle from there as I was eating last night, but it came from the back of the tooth, between it and the next one, which isn’t exactly a place you’d expect to have damage… Which probably also explains why the ceramic layer was so thin. Now I sure hope the crown itself is under warranty and what they gave none for was just the other part of the work, due to that pierced root, but even so there’s the question of how they’ll fix it, since if they’ll remove the crown it will likely cause issues with that tooth and increase the risk of something going wrong in the ways I was made aware of back then, so I’ll want to avoid that in any way possible.

Since I mentioned yesterday, the weather was very good for running then, hardly any wind, cooler, cloudy but not raining… But the forecast mentioned storms, so I couldn’t know it won’t even rain all day and didn’t dare to go when I woke up, and then I ate a bit more too and didn’t want to go after eating again, so I just went out in the evening to get a couple of things from Kaufland, also dropping off the recyclables on the way and having a quick look through Carrefour since it’s also there. Was worried I’ll be caught by a storm on the way back even then, since the time of the likely storm kept being pushed back but the warnings otherwise remained, but I barely felt a few little drops, and even those I think were more on the way there than on the way back.
But today I didn’t trust the forecast again, so while it still mentioned a risk of storms for most of the day, with the sites I check listing it as reaching or exceeding 50% from 1 PM last night and from 3 PM this morning, I woke up pretty early and went to run. Actually meant to get up when I woke up the second time, at 8:50 AM, but I noticed that the reason for waking up that time wasn’t that I really needed to pee again and soon enough heard dad in the kitchen, which was probably why I woke up in the first place, and since I didn’t want to bump into him when it was possible that he’ll mention doctors I went back to sleep and only got up when I woke up the third time, a few minutes after 10 AM. That was still quite fine, and I meant to go out at 11:30 AM, but after checking those sites again and noticing that 1 PM had changed to 3 PM I didn’t rush anymore and eventually only left around 11:55 AM… Without bandaging my toes again, but nothing else seemed wrong with the nails when I checked after I got back.
Ran 16 kilometers again, just meaning to stay under 1:20, or at most, if possible, just under that 1:19:29 that was until now the second fastest time over that distance. And even though I had to push a bit on the last lap, I managed that, the time being 1:19:26, with sector times of 4:27, 5:13, 6:03, 4:35, 5:08, 6:01, maybe around 4:33, maybe around 5:15, 6:06, 4:38, 5:22, 6:10, 4:37, 5:18 and 6:00, making for lap times of 15:43, 15:44, 15:54, 16:10 and 15:55. Sadly didn’t manage to stay under 16 minutes on all laps, missing that target on lap four, when the gusts of wind were also worse, and I also somehow forgot to check the time at the end of sector one of lap three, only looking quite some time later and not even thinking to see exactly where I was when I did so. If I would have at least done that, I could have used the next two laps to make a pretty fair estimate, but as it was I just know that the first two sectors were covered in 9:48. It’s likely that it was something between 4:30 and 4:35 though, but that range could get extended to something between 4:25 and 4:40, with the corresponding changes in the sector two time.

And now I have some more catching up to do, and I’ll start with what I did after running on July 11, when my brain didn’t quite seem to be working, likely after all that effort with next to no preparation. When I took the recyclables out, on the way to Carrefour and Kaufland, I became one of those people who are the reason why everything is picked up at once and then sorted again later, because I accidentally put the plastics in the paper bin as well. Then I realized I had just taken one bag and it’ll be hard to carry everything like that. Then I got a couple of things from Carrefour but forgot to wait for the receipt, just taking my change and walking away. Realized it a few moments later and went back to ask the cashier if I had forgotten it, but she said yes but that she had thrown it away, so I left it like that even though the whole point was to get a receipt in order to have another entry in their contest, since it was the last day. Then I had to turn around again after having walked away without retrieving the plastic bags and wrappings which I had placed in one of those cabinets at Carrefour, since there’s a place to dispose of such things at Kaufland. Then after getting some things from Kaufland I again spotted a 0.10 RON coin in the queue next to the one I was in, but there were several 0.01 RON ones past the checkout there too, yet when I looked again after stopping to arrange things in my bag I didn’t see any of them anymore, even though I was sure I had even stopped just on one.
Did get more careful after that though, checking everything to make sure I wasn’t messing up even more, worried that I may leave products behind or lose money. Also found one 0.10 RON coin on my way out from Kaufland, and then went back to Carrefour to grab one more thing, out of those that were discounted due to expiring soon, to have a receipt from there after all. Not that I’m sure it was even entered into the raffle, since that part didn’t load at all, and I didn’t have a good enough score in the game to win something directly. But it was rather funny when a family came to get their stuff from one of those cabinets at Carrefour while I was wondering whether I could leave mine in one without locking it, since I didn’t have any of the required 0.50 RON coins, and the guy kept farting, wondering out loud what was causing it before apologizing after noticing that I was down there and laughing. The security guard came to me after they left, noticing I was struggling with the cabinet door and thinking he was being very helpful by explaining that I needed to put a coin in there, then staring for a moment and walking away quickly when I showed him the 0.10 RON coins I had and asked whether he could exchange five for one 0.50 RON one. Had tried to use the machine at Kaufland that’s supposed to exchange 1 RON bills to 0.50 RON coins, which are needed for the carts there as well, but it didn’t work, apparently saying that it was empty.
After all of that, and after carrying some eight kg back in that single bag, switching hands plenty of times, I spent the evening and night stuffing myself, starting with plenty of watermelon and a big bag of corn puffs during the match. Then I made some food and stuffed myself even more, and then I finally took a shower, very late.

On July 13 I meant to just go to the farmers’ market, but then decided to also go to Auchan first. Had to dig to find a box of yogurt not expiring on the 19th, so I was trying to arrange the boxes more or less as they had been when somebody came to ask me where the goat milk was, realizing with some surprise that I didn’t work there after staring at me for a long moment when I asked how should I know. In fact I thought I did know, the place marked for goat milk products being right behind me, but wasn’t entirely sure at the time and didn’t bother to turn around to check, waiting for him to realize that my t-shirt was white and green, not red and with the store logo and that other text on the back. Either way, it’s a good thing I went to the free bus stop a bit early after getting everything, since the bus came two minutes early.
After dropping off the stuff from Auchan, I went to the farmers’ market. Got two kinds of cheap cucumbers, the cheapest ones indeed being worse but the other ones actually being surprisingly good. Also got two kinds of cheap tomatoes, but by then I was feeling quite drained by being among people and ended up rather randomly getting some of the less cheap kind from someone first and those were worse than the cheapest ones I got later. In between, was looking at plums and avoiding those where I couldn’t put them on the scale myself, which included those with the cheapest ones, but a man that had them listed at what seemed largely the regular price, just a bit above the cheapest, said when I passed by him one more time that he’ll sell at that cheapest price too, and that I could pick myself and discard whatever I didn’t like, which is of course a requirement if I’m to get anything. So I started putting some in a bag, but then he said that price was for two kg, mentioning again that I still had quite some way to go when I put what I had picked until then on the scale the first two times. But otherwise he let me pick, just commenting at one point that if I’d have picked them myself I’d have had to be fast, but as it was I just got to select the better ones out of those already picked, so I got two kg after all, and I still have plenty of them, checking each day to eat those that are more likely to spoil first. Either way, also got two ears of corn to boil, the first ones this season, and then got back.
After that I sort of watched the tennis match, getting more interested as that final set stretched on, and quickly wrote that post after it was over, worried that these moments will become history due to all those fucked up requests to introduce final set tie-breaks everywhere when those who want that have just about the whole rest of the season while those who still want to see tennis as an endurance sport only have a few tournaments left. Couldn’t shower that night, as there was no hot water due to a problem affecting a large part of the city, but there was the other match as well and I wouldn’t have found the time to do so anyway.

Going back to July 9, I got woken up before 10 AM by drilling and it was after 12:35 PM when I got back in bed, and clearly past 1 PM when I fell asleep again. Then at 2:12 PM the delivery guy called and woke me up again, to deliver the replacement for the new camera. As I had a quick look, I didn’t notice any issues as clear as what the first one had, and in fact I noticed one more white area which I had missed before in the pictures taken by that one, but eventually I did spot two white pixels in the pictures this one is taking too. The affected area is therefore smaller, and in fact more clearly seen in full resolution images, being harder to notice in lower resolution unless you know what to look for, but those pixels are also far more central, so I asked dad what to do, giving him the camera to have a look as well, but he pretty much ignored it. Recently he said he’ll take it to take some pictures when he went somewhere and he still hadn’t had a look otherwise, and just wanted me to change back any settings I may have made so he’ll just press the button, not having to care about anything else. And he didn’t actually use it even then, or at least that’s what he said when he got back.
Otherwise, that program update for Emsisoft Anti-Malware came that day, and despite being warned of it the previous night by the support guy it still took me off guard due to when it came. Didn’t make another backup, instead at first starting an update and stopping it in order to check what files were being downloaded, then updating again to let it finish, but after letting it update at 5:45 PM I thought it was getting pretty late and the update may not come that day after all, so when I let it update one more time, at 6:05 PM, to make sure that update had worked right, I didn’t really pay attention and realized quite late that it was taking too long to download. So I got the message asking for a reboot without having a new backup, but so far I’m not noticing issues, and in fact it seems to use less memory. The problems which had appeared earlier this year still aren’t fixed though, and the changes are obviously still in the wrong direction, but that’s a given.

And the last day I need to cover in this post is July 10, when I went to Auchan for cat food and several other things. Also took all the plastic bottles and one can which had gathered, but the can was the kind the recycling machine doesn’t accept, so I just put the bottles in, managing to make it accept all of them, though I needed to try multiple times for several of them and a message that one was refused showed up even though it was of a kind that was easily accepted otherwise and it actually took it in, so I guess it just didn’t give me the 0.05 RON for that one for some reason. Ended up with three tickets, since at first it timed out as I was getting to the second bag, as I had just somehow managed to stuff everything in the two bags that were still around, the large one that I tend to use for this more recently not being here then, and then I stopped it myself before the last two bottles, since I had tried to get it to accept them a few times already and didn’t want to get an error, but then they pretty much just worked when I tried yet again.
The free bus that took me there, referring to the vehicle itself, seemed new though, and it had luggage space above as well. The problem was that it wasn’t taller, so if I sat up straight in the chair, the bottom of that space was some ten centimeters above my head, and when I climbed in, carrying those large bags and not used to have something at that height to worry about, I hit my head against it as I was getting to a seat in the back. The ride was also particularly rough, all the bumps in the road being felt very clearly, some pretty much throwing me out of the seat and at one point making me split my legs very quickly before landing again, in order to avoid landing on my balls.

Written by Cavalary on July 24, 2018 at 10:21 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Not Finishing Ember in Time for the Review to Be the Week’s Second Post

I’m quite sure I’m very close to finishing Ember, but I won’t manage it today, or even tonight after eating, since I doubt I’ll even get back to it before tomorrow. Meant to stay away from it completely today and instead write a longer post, to catch up on what I didn’t mention so far, since it was quite clear that even if I would finish it today I won’t be writing the review tomorrow, so I’ll need something else as the second post anyway and I’ll continue to try avoiding “Sunday updates” whenever I can. But when it seems I’m so close, it was even harder than usual to struggle to write something, so I got as far as I could and now I’m just throwing a very quick post here, just to say it’s the week’s second one.

The problem is that I’m getting increasingly worried about my left eye, and yesterday I guess I got scared enough to tell dad about it and he said he’ll schedule me to have my eyes checked out, and have his own checked out as well while we’re there, since he kept putting it off as well. Seem to remember the same thing happening back in 2007, in fact. And I was very worried then as well. And I really can’t remember whether the issues I’m seeing now just appeared some months ago and got worse now, which would really be a sign of something awful going on, or I just got more worried and am noticing them more now, or I first got worried then and even more so now, but they’ve been around for even longer and therefore are likely to not be that much of a problem. If that old post’s right though, it seems the issue that was spotted back in 2007 was in my right eye and the problem is now with the left, so not even one of the issues can be explained that way.

While I’m here, I’ll also mention that yesterday I went back to that pharmacy and actually found those pills I had decided on when I set my mind on getting something that should help my joints, considering that the pain in my left knee is definitely not going away and other joints may be starting to cause trouble as well, likely due to the running. Should have probably forgotten about that and worried more about my eyes, but first went there the day before and looked all over for what I had chosen, but didn’t find them and didn’t ask anyone. The thing is that I know that pharmacy has things you can just pick up yourself arranged according to manufacturer and I had checked the few other things they have from the same manufacturer, but I forgot what they were while there and only realized I had spotted some of those other things after looking again when I got back, so when I went back there yesterday I knew what to look for and, while still after searching pretty much the entire area where they could have possibly been, found a few boxes of these pills for the joints left at the back of a bottom shelf, invisible in themselves unless you bent close to the floor, but next to larger quantities of a couple of other kinds, which filled their section of the shelf and were therefore visible.

And since I mentioned July 19 already, in its early hours, when I came back to the computer after eating, I thought my mouse double clicked twice and also failed to click twice. But there are other explanations for all of those situations, which I actually tested to confirm that they will cause the behaviors I had noticed, and a few hundred test clicks over the course of the day didn’t reveal any issues, so at the moment I’m trying to calm down about it. Not that it’d be unexpected to have such an issue appear again, especially since I’m getting worried about things and something often goes wrong with my computer as well when I get messed up for other reasons, plus that it is summer, even though these days it’s cooler and raining again. But at the moment I’ll just hope it’s not happening, and that it really will last much longer than the XTD before developing this problem.

And still on July 19, went to the pharmacy on my way to the farmers’ market, where I went for cucumbers, tomatoes and green onions, just managing to fit the whole trip in between the moment when the clouds cleared after it had rained and the one when it started raining again, a few drops starting to fall as I was coming back and serious rain starting shortly after I walked through the door, with quite a wall of water coming down for a little while not long after that. And the tomatoes I got weren’t quite that cheap anymore and they were probably a little worse than those very cheap ones I was looking for, and which I didn’t find at that price anymore. I guess I could have found better ones at the same price as the ones I got, possibly even from the same people I bought those very cheap ones from before, and saw some that looked very good at just a bit more, but I bought them from some old woman and they seem usable anyway, so it’s fine… Even though dad bought more twice since, so now we have quite a pile of them and quite a few of them need to be used quickly…
Back to what happened at the market, I no longer found the person with the cheap good cucumbers that I was looking for, but found someone else that had a pile at that same price and decided to get some from there… And ended up being given all of them at what worked out as being just under half the listed price, and they’re good enough too. Had put some in a bag and asked the person there to weigh them, since the scale wasn’t in reach, seeing what I seem to remember as 1.23 kg, though it could have been somewhat more than that, and picking the smallest one that was left and telling her to add it there to get to about one and a third kilograms, so the price won’t involve coins. But at that point she just put all those she had left in my bag and told me that price, not weighing again, and confirming it after I asked whether she was sure of it, and when I got back I saw that they weighed 2.733 kg. As for the green onions, didn’t see anybody selling those I meant to get, but the price was listed, so I just left the right amount of money there, though I heard a person selling around the corner tell another customer that those were hers as well, so I took my time getting them in my bag and she eventually looked over, at which point I just told her I had left the money there and she said that was fine, but then since she was coming over anyway she said I could just hand them to her, which I did.

Written by Cavalary on July 21, 2018 at 10:38 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Stopping to Finally Catch Up on June… Almost…

Ran yesterday, the time being 48:23, with sector times of 4:17, 5:04, 6:00, 4:32, 5:03, 6:02, 4:29, 5:10, 5:57 and 1:49, making for lap times of 15:21, 15:37 and 15:36. The idea from now on is to no longer look for good conditions when I’m running only ten kilometers, so I went out there yesterday even though it was quite windy and pretty hot in the sun, which meant I struggled a fair bit to manage to stay under 48:30. That bigger cloud that came at the end of the first sector of lap three and offered shade even in the places where trees don’t until I was close to the end of the next sector helped a bit, and seeing that I had to push over the last two sectors to make it, I’m thinking it’d have been very tight without that.
After coming back, I was in the kitchen when I noticed the hot water pressure dropping a lot, which was worrying since I hadn’t showered, but I kept doing what I was doing there until dad got back as well and said there was a note, which I hadn’t seen, saying the hot water will be turned off until 11 PM today. So I just dropped what I was doing and rushed to have a quick shower, starting with water that was quite cold, assuming it was just what was left in the pipes and won’t get better, only to later notice that it did get warmer after all, though the pressure remained low. Since it took a while longer before what came out the hot water pipe became cold, and rather brown, I could have even washed my hair, and should have done so, but decided not to risk it then. And it would appear that the hot water was turned back on quite early today anyway, though it remains to be seen whether it’ll be turned off again now.

But now I’ll leave the other things that happened recently for another time, because I really should stop and finally catch up on what’s left from June, with the exception of June 12, since that’s when I bought a light fixture for the bathroom and dad’s yet to replace the old one with it, so I’m leaving that to make one post about the whole thing whenever I’ll be able to. Then again, the only things left to say also have to do with buying stuff, and regular stuff at that, on June 15, 19 and 20.
On June 15 I meant to go to the farmers’ market early, but decided against it and just went to Auchan after the day’s first match, without even taking the plastic bottles, even though a lot had gathered. Actually left just before the end of injury time, but didn’t miss anything important and caught the free bus to get there faster. Just missed the one to get back though, possibly because it left a bit early, the next ones that came seeming a bit early as well, so I had to wait a few more minutes for the one coming after them, which was the next I could use. That one could also take me pretty close to the market as well, and I had intended to go there if I’d have caught the one I meant to catch, but it was already too late to go there that day and I was about to piss myself as well, since I didn’t go before leaving. Got off a stop late though, since an old lady asked me to help her with her purchases when she’ll get off while I was still considering whether to try to rush to the market after all or not, so when she asked where was I getting off after I agreed I said I’ll likely go farther and it’d have gotten awkward if I’d have stepped off with her after all. So I just helped her then and waited for the next stop.
On June 19 I woke up early, saw that it was 9:10 AM when I checked the time, and it was still early when I went out, taking out the plastics and then checking prices at Carrefour and Kaufland and just getting a little thing from Carrefour. Saw one of those yogurts my mother eats in the pile of stuff that was deeply discounted due to expiring soon and I tried to bury it under the others, which were the kind with fruit, until I’ll get back from having a look at Kaufland as well, but that whole pile was gone when I got back. Either way, after getting back here I quickly stuffed the plastic bottles, plus two cans, in bags and caught the free bus to Auchan, where I also got 1 RON from the two coins in carts left close to the bus stop, after taking a moment to chain them to others. Then had to tell someone that the recycling machine was saying it was full and wait for it to be emptied, since it really was full and opening it myself and moving the contents around a bit didn’t help. Then the cashier gave me 0.05 RON more back, in fact handing back the 0.50 RON coin I had given instead of giving 0.45 RON back, but I again missed the free bus I should be taking, having to run to even catch the next one that’s usable. I guess another one, that also left at that time, would have been better, but I was back just in time for the day’s first match anyway, and dad also gave me back what I had spent on the stuff bought for the cats and for them.
Still on that day, while watching the match, I tried to use the receipt from Carrefour to play the game that was part of their contest at the time, but it didn’t work in Internet Explorer and trying it in Firefox just got me a message stating that the receipt in question had already been used. Did eventually, some time later, manage to use the one from the next purchases made that day, since I went back to Carrefour after the match, taking the paper out as well. Ran most of the way after dropping that off, knowing I had to save every bit of time I could, as I was going to buy three bags of cat litter, and decided to get something for me as well, ending up confused when checking out since I accidentally got six instead of five and the total price was obviously more than I thought it’d be, so the cashier had to explain why that was before I realized it, deciding to leave it like that. Just barely made it back in time for the start of the next match, having 30 minutes to do so but really struggling to carry the 18 kg of cat litter, plus the few other things, having to stop and switch hands very often, since two bags, so 12 kg, had to be carried in one hand.
As for June 20, after waking up I decided pretty much on the spot to go to Auchan again after all, mainly for more yogurt and dental floss, since both were a fair bit cheaper than elsewhere. Meant to take the free bus straight to the farmers’ market after that, but eventually got off here and dropped off the purchases, not wanting to keep the yogurt outside in the heat so long. Then walked to the market, meaning to look for tomatoes first but ending up getting quite a lot of cheap cucumbers instead, and only one kg of cheap tomatoes, plus some rather wilted green onions, lettuce and half a kg of apricots, finding one person selling some that were rather green but otherwise all right for a fair bit less than the others. Was back just as the day’s first match started, and left again after it ended.
The reason for leaving again was to look for apples at the other farmers’ market, and I ran part of the way there. Fortunately, found what I was looking for, but was a bit confused since I knew that there usually are quite a few different prices, the apples being sorted by type, size and how good they still are, and could only see a slightly higher price for one box and a single price label that seemed to be for all the others. Left to have a quick look at the rest of the market then, but then returned and asked the guy whether that price applied to everything and he pointed in the general direction of some of the apples and specified a lower price for those, then looked at the label and turned it around, revealing that the other side listed that lower price. So I first grabbed an apple from the box with those that didn’t look so well, but saw that it was rotten in the middle, so likely almost completely rotten inside, and when he also noticed that he told me to just pick from wherever I want and went to serve someone else with tomatoes. So I left those uglier ones alone and got just over 1.5 kg from those that seemed sort of in between, actually giving him a 0.05 RON coin too, to get to just about exactly the price for that quantity. I’d have actually needed to give him 0.01 RON more to avoid any rounding and one such coin was all I had left, after taking a 0.10 RON one that dad had left lying around before leaving, but we both had a laugh about me wanting to be so fair about it and I didn’t dig that out as well.

Written by Cavalary on July 17, 2018 at 5:41 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Isner Again Involved in Proving Why There Should Be No Final Set Tie-Break

Sure, this time he lost, but after setting the unchallenged record for the longest tennis match in 2010, John Isner was again involved in one of the longest matches in tennis history, the final set ending 26-24, and this again happened on the fastest surface, at Wimbledon. And he and Kevin Anderson actually played better and more spectacularly deep in that final set, after seeming largely content to hold their serve for quite a long time. And keep in mind that Anderson did this after another long match in the previous round, when he defeated none other than Roger Federer, not just in five sets, but with 13-11 in the final set and after being two sets down and saving a match point at 5-4 for Federer in set three.
Granted, at six hours and 36 minutes, the Anderson-Isner match is nothing compared to those 11 hours and five minutes Isner played in 2010, but it is nevertheless the fourth longest tennis match, and it was played in a single day, while that one was spread over no less than three days. Second longest is currently the doubles match the Czech Republic won against Switzerland, in seven hours and two minutes, in the Davis Cup in 2013, while third longest is also from the Davis Cup, this time from 2015, when Leonardo Mayer defeated João Souza in six hours and 43 minutes.

The point is that such matches are rare, but they’re absolutely extraordinary when they happen. Yes, shorter matches can be absolutely thrilling, but even a single game, or a single rally, can be thrilling. What happens when a game stretches to such lengths, on the other hand, is something special, and that comes not only from the duration but also, and in fact mainly, thanks to the extended final set, due to the fact that at least the organizers of the Australian Open, Davis Cup, Roland Garros and Wimbledon still have enough sense to not give in and do not implement final set tie-breaks, like US Open unfortunately does. Actually, even at the Australian Open and Roland Garros this extended final set is only allowed for singles matches, doubles even being best of three for men as well, but singles is still the most relevant aspect, so it counts.
So, while now just about everyone else seems to be renewing those infuriating calls for final set tie-breaks everywhere, and when formats like Fast4 start being used more and more, and when in many places you see even the third set replaced with a “super tie-break” played up to ten instead of seven, turning tennis from an endurance sport into something like a series of sprints with a significant element of chance, I’m also renewing my call for removing tie-breaks from the US Open as well, and definitely for ensuring that they won’t be added to the other major tournaments.

While I’m at it, I’d actually call for a change to the scoring rules that’d make it impossible for such a match to be won in a tie-break. Not that I’d mind removing tie-breaks once again for good, of course, but this wouldn’t need to imply that. Instead, it could perhaps involve keeping a double score during a tie-break taking place before the final possible set but at the end of which the match may be won, such a tie-break actually following the current tie-break scoring rules for the one needing to win it in order to stay in the match, but being treated as a regular game for the other. In that case, the one needing to win the set to stay in the match will do so by winning that tie-break normally, but the other could only win a game, scored as if it’d be a regular game, after winning at least four points and having an advantage of at least two.
As an example, if player A is leading by two sets to one and set four gets to six games each, then if said player A gets to 4-2 they will win the game and lead seven games to six in set four, but the set will continue. On the other hand, if player A will not have a two-point lead from the moment they reach four points in that tie-break before player B will get to at least seven points while having a lead of at least two points, player B will win the set 7-6, and set five will start. In case player A wins the game, this scoring system will apply each time the number of games is tied in that set from then on, player A needing a two-game advantage to win the set and the match, but player B only needing to win such a tie-break to win the set.

One other idea could be to introduce breaks, say for 15 minutes, after every 12 games played in the final set, or even after every 24 games, which would make this a rule that’ll very rarely be used, but could spice things up a bit. It would indeed make very long matches even longer, so would likely be even more difficult to implement anywhere but at the major tournaments that have a lot of courts that are also covered and have lighting, and these breaks shouldn’t be counted in the duration of the match, but they would allow not just rest, but would also allow the players to review their tactics and therefore play even better, possibly making these long matches even more thrilling.

But first things first, and that’s to make sure such epic matches will still be a possibility. So please, do not even consider adding a final set tie-break in the tournaments that managed to resist this pressure so far and definitely do not consider implementing some of those even more dreadful systems in any official tournament. Then, if at all possible, remove the final set tie-break from the US Open as well, and also remove those other systems used to shorten matches in the other major tournaments, such as the final set tie-break for doubles matches at Australian Open and Roland Garros and that “super tie-break” instead of the third set used for mixed doubles for example.

Later edit: After what was displayed in the extended final set that the Djokovic-Nadal match also had, would you really give it all up and replace it with a simple tie-break? Admittedly, Djokovic won at “only” 10-8, but that’s not something you could see if this won’t be allowed anymore anyway. Even as it is, it’s something you can only see at a few tournaments each year, and only at Wimbledon and in the Davis Cup does it apply for doubles as well.

Written by Cavalary on July 13, 2018 at 11:56 PM in Sports | 0 Comments

At Least I Didn’t Have to Run and Buy Stuff on July 12

Monday night, when I realized that I should have actually started the plan I had in mind in order to work my way up to October’s marathon last week, I thought I’ll have to cover a half marathon distance through the park today, since it was supposed to rain both Tuesday and Wednesday, and possibly Friday as well. But Tuesday night I checked the forecast again and noticed that, while there were still going to be some clouds, the risk of rain was very low for Wednesday, and the wind and temperature weren’t going to be a problem either. So, with hardly any preparation, yesterday I just went out there and covered a half marathon distance again, and then also went and bought a few things, so I didn’t have to do any of that today. Unlike last year, I did install this month’s Windows updates today though, and so far there don’t seem to be problems.
Did consider going to the farmers’ market today, since we’re almost out of cucumbers and tomatoes and dad had left a little more that I could use, which I mean to use for something for both of us anyway, but I left it for tomorrow, assuming there won’t be a storm. The updates were quite enough for today, even if I must say that I didn’t, and don’t, exactly feel down, probably as a result of the high after yesterday’s run, even if it had already been somewhat dampened by what happened when I went back out that evening. It’s possible that stuffing myself last night had a little to do with it as well, and I’m now actually stuffing myself again. But, of course, last year was a milestone, 15 years since me and Andra met, so it was somewhat different.

Usually avoided making these posts into personal updates, since it really doesn’t feel right to mix this with other things, but this time I will. Won’t go further back than yesterday and won’t even include what happened after going back out then, but yesterday’s run was quite something, and since it may have a fair bit to do with me not crashing today, I’ll get right to it and say it marked a new record over a half marathon distance, and by quite some margin: 1:48:26! Sector times were 4:38, 5:22, 6:15, 4:45, 5:21, 6:16, 4:46, 5:21, 6:08, 4:45, 5:16, 6:19, 4:48, 5:23, 6:20, 4:47, 5:21, 6:25, 1:57, 6:23 and 1:50, making for lap times of 16:15, 16:22, 16:15, 16:20, 16:31 and 16:33, plus 10:10 for that final section.
Really didn’t mean that, aiming for 17-minute laps and a 12-minute final section, so 1:54, but also allowing for time loss from lap five, the actual target being 1:55. Obviously saw that I was going much faster despite feeling that I was keeping my pace in check well enough, putting a bit of effort into maintaining those times but definitely not too much, but still didn’t really change my target until the end of lap three, initially assuming I’ll slow down a fair bit later on. But that didn’t happen, so after lap three I calculated that I could aim for 1:51, with 11 minutes on that final part. Then, when I maintained that pace on lap four and only slowed a little on lap five, I started thinking of 1:50, and then of 1:49:30. 1:49 only became a possibility in my mind at the end of lap six, and then right before that final sector I realized I had a slim shot at just making even 1:48:30 if I’ll somehow manage to run it as I do when I just run ten kilometers. And I did.

My toenails were a concern, obviously, so I had put bandages on the three middle toes on each foot before going out and something seemed wrong with the middle one from my left foot starting on lap three, if I remember correctly, feeling like the bandage had moved and was pressing against the nail from the front with each step. That made me worry that just what I did to try to protect the nails will end up tearing one away, and I kept thinking I felt something wet there, looking at my shoe several times, almost expecting to see blood coming even through it, but it was just sweat and me imagining things, because there was no blood at all and when I took the bandages off before showering, late at night, I saw no new bruises under the nails either. It does hurt a little bit when I press on that nail, but otherwise nothing seems any worse at the moment than it was before. Do have reasons to be concerned that the second nail from my left foot, the one I cut too much from since I didn’t realize it was coming off as well, will end up ingrown though.
On the other hand, my left knee is not happy. Feel something complaining a little in my right foot too, and maybe a bit of pain in my right knee as well if I really pay attention to it, but that doesn’t seem to be any cause for concern at the moment. That left knee, on the other hand, is really telling me I should have it checked out. Has been doing that for some time now, of course, but if after smashing my record on 16 kilometers it oddly seemed better for a while, now it acts as one would expect a joint with a problem to act after being put through something like this, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better on its own. Obviously can’t afford something like this now, which makes me even less likely to have it checked out than I’d normally be, which is saying something, so not sure what I’ll do about it.

But at least this really proved that a half marathon isn’t in itself a challenge for me anymore, if I can just go out and smash my record just like that, and without even really trying. Sure, I’m not getting any younger, so maybe in a few years it will once again become a challenge and I’ll need to focus my efforts on just managing to stay fit enough to be able to keep covering this distance in a reasonable time for as long as possible, but going for the full marathon this year is the natural step at this moment. It probably won’t get easier later anyway.
What concerns me is that I’ll be running it with no experience of covering that distance. Had covered the distance through the park once before running my first official half marathon, and the final part was very hard even so. Now my plan includes running 11 laps around the lake, so 35.2 kilometers, seven short of the distance of a marathon, in September, which should make me hit the wall and figure out how I can push through it, just taking one more step and one more step until I’ll reach the finish despite my body wanting to shut down and hurting all over. But even after that, assuming I’ll manage to do it at all on first try, there’s still the matter of doing it for those seven more kilometers, and on little sleep as well, seeing as the race starts in the morning.

But that’s something to figure out when I’ll get there I guess, so I’ll end this now. Did sort of consider also adding what happened when I went back out after the run, but it’s almost midnight, so couldn’t do that and still post this today anyway, which made the decision easy. And makes me feel a bit less rotten for writing about other things in something posted on July 12, since what I did write about isn’t quite so mundane while the other things would be, even considering the fact that I kept messing up, probably as a result of all that effort made with so little preparation.

Written by Cavalary on July 12, 2018 at 11:58 PM in Personal | 0 Comments