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Sunday Update Instead of the Half Marathon…

The half marathon should have taken place today, but instead I can’t even run through the park. Those in Sector 2 have just been opened again, but as far as I know the rest are still closed, and will probably remain closed until at least Friday, when we’ll no longer be under the state of emergency. And since everybody will go out just then in that case, I won’t, so at this point I’m thinking to not run at all next week, since it’d feel rather odd to run on the street again when there will only be a few days left, and when the route reaches one spot that’s just across the road from a park that would be open, but in which I wouldn’t want to go to run. But that would make the following week complicated, because I definitely want to “honor” the half marathon by covering that distance through the park as soon as possible, yet don’t want to just do it right away, without at least a 16 km run first, and doing a half marathon no more than a couple of days after 16 km would be a tall order, and skipping a week before that would make it even worse.

Speaking of running, last week’s run was Friday, when the alarm again rang at 11 AM. Woke up three times before then, however, and if the first two times I heard dad here and awake and didn’t need to pee, so I got right back to bed and actually managed to get back to sleep rather quickly, the third time was at 10:30 AM and it didn’t go so well. Decided to try to get a little more sleep, since I could still hold it too, but ended up lost in thoughts again, and the brief nap I likely did manage was plagued by nightmares, and I believe I was awake again before 11 AM, though I was too confused to be certain. But I had the usual stuff plus almonds, which has in fact been the normal thing for the days when I run for some time now, and two of those old oat biscuits, putting jam on one and honey on the other, and went out at 1:15 PM, wearing the running pants and the regular shoes, but also a regular t-shirt, and of course the mask. The reported temperature was around 19°C, but there were some clouds too.
The time was 49:33.27, with lap times of 12:29.54, 12:21.21, 12:15 (12:14.79) and 12:28 (12:27.73). I obviously didn’t try to put mask on properly again, but it was probably still a bit better than it used to be before last time, and things didn’t look good at first, needing to push to just barely stay under 12:30 on the first lap. Admittedly, said lap included a brief stop when a few people, including one who had just parked his car on the sidewalk in that spot, caused a roadblock in front of this nearby shop, then another to allow a car to pass, and probably had to slow a little for another car as well. There was another brief stop for a car on lap two, and also a tiny bug got in my eye, and I slowed twice while trying, and failing, to remove it. There was some weaving as well, and maybe slowing a couple more times, but the one notable moment when I clearly had to slow was when I caught up to a worker a bit before the end of that narrow path through that nicer bit of the route and he was walking slowly and carrying something, so there was no room to pass right away. I believe that was on lap three, but I’m not sure anymore, so there’s a chance it was in fact also on lap two, or maybe even on four. That strikes me as much less likely, however, since I remember thinking on lap four that the only external problem was the wind, which had in fact rather suddenly picked up. My body wasn’t happy on that last lap though, at first my left ankle starting to bother me, followed by the right knee and hip, and if the hip just gave me a few warnings, the knee was quickly getting worse, requiring me to make an effort to manage it. And I was making an effort to keep pushing myself at that point anyway, since if I lost focus for a moment I noticed myself slowing down.

Took the things I needed with me again, so went straight to this Kaufland and Carrefour after that, jogging much of the way. Got even more tiny bugs in my eyes and under the mask, one probably getting in my nose, before getting there, and when I went to the bathroom at Kaufland I saw two caught in my eyelashes on the left eye, but that one stuck in my right one since lap two of the run was actually on the eye itself, and it took me a while to remove it. Or I hope I did, though my eye continued to bother me a bit at least the rest of that day. Either way, went straight to the bakery area after going in, which was a good thing, since I found exactly four of the kind of bread I wanted, which was also discounted, and that was just how many I wanted. Then got a few other things and used the self-checkout without problems even if I just placed the bag with the bread on the scales, without removing them from it first. Also found National Geographic at that store next to Kaufland this time, and then went to Carrefour, mainly looking for the cabbage that was on sale. Didn’t get any though, since it didn’t look good enough to just keep until I’ll finish what I still have, so I just got a few other things and then got back on a route I never used before, getting around the park on the other side, getting back a bit after 4:30 PM. Only actually got behind the park after a while though, but on that short stretch of road, before getting around it, I counted six runners, and there were nine or ten I saw that day in total, since I believe the one I saw in front of the park, on the way to Kaufland, was the same one I saw here at the corner, as I was also running.

Just before leaving that day, I noticed that Avira had switched itself to the free edition, and after getting back I saw that it had indeed just happened, right after 1 PM. The relevant protection still seemed active though, so I stuck to my original plan… And that made me even more worried when I got back to the computer that night. Had cooked again, only left the kitchen at 3:30 AM and took the rest of the food to continue eating here, and when I checked my e-mail I noticed a notification, received a bit after 2 AM, that somebody had started the process of replacing all security information on my Microsoft account. The e-mail was legitimate, the only unusual things being that it was in Romanian, when my e-mail is set to be in English, and that it listed only the first two letters of my account name instead of the first two letters and @hotmail.com. Plus, of course, the obvious fact that the “somebody” was definitely not me!
Since when I tried to access the security information I got a message that Internet Explorer was no longer accepted due to not meeting the security requirements, I also considered the fact that this notification might be a way to force those who still use it to switch, and the other oddities about that notification also made me wonder whether it was in fact about some forgotten account I had on another Microsoft property, which was now being merged with the active one I use for e-mail. The fact that there was no unusual activity listed would perhaps also point towards those, shall we say, benign options, but the timing, just when my computer had been somewhat less protected, definitely brought worse possibilities to mind. And that got even worse when, while wondering why hadn’t I received any SMS about it as well, I noticed that my phone wasn’t working at all again. If I turned it off and back on, I could usually make a call, but as soon as it was supposed to receive something, either a message with my remaining credit or a code to sign in, it stopped working again, usually silently, and that didn’t change even though I tried several times. But there was little else I could do at the moment, so I just changed the password and finally got in bed at 5:20 AM.
Left my phone off during the night, and when I got up I put the SIM card in the old one, which also told me to check it at first. That makes me wonder whether the problem isn’t the card after all, and these old ones are just much better at dealing with a failing one, but after taking it out, blowing and rubbing, just in case, and putting it back in more carefully, it worked again, and right away I received a message with my remaining credit, with the time being from the previous night, so probably received after I had turned the old one off, which explained why it didn’t just get lost.
A bit later, I restored the system from the backup, getting it done before I lost courage again, but actually connected the external HDD before rebooting and made sure that it was seen in BIOS before starting from the recovery disk, which I’m not sure I ever did before, and the first thing I saw when it booted from that disk was a prompt to unlock the encrypted partition on the external HDD, which I definitely never saw before, the encrypted partitions just being inaccessible when I tried to recover. It also said that it detected problems that may prevent Windows from starting properly and wanted to fix them, but I just ignored everything and restored as planned. Thought about it later and realized I should have tried to figure out what problems it thought it discovered, but it was too late by then.
The LAN chipset was enabled again after restoring the system, so I quickly disabled it again, and that might have messed with the SSD’s software a bit, since I think it was trying to update. I knew an update was available, which I had ignored before, but when I could connect later, I installed it after all, in part to make sure there were no problems, and saw that it requires significantly more system resources. However, I had in fact connected once more even before that, briefly, because I received an SMS with a code to use to sign in to my Microsoft account! That was exactly three hours after putting the SIM in the old phone, and I guess it’s not impossible to have been one I had requested at night and which somehow found its way through then instead of just getting lost, but the time was the current one, so definitely seemed that somebody had just requested one, and I wanted to check to see whether I could spot any activity. Still didn’t, however, and I was left wondering what that was about, since I disconnected again quickly… Not so quickly as to prevent the time from updating, however, and since that backup was made before the daylight savings change, BOINC messed up again, causing my first failed MilkyWay@home task. Just one failed though, and I believe that was because that one completed before I noticed what happened and rebooted, the other one which had been running when the time changed continuing and validating.
The thing is that I didn’t make another clean backup last evening, before installing Trend Micro Antivirus+ at night, so I’ll need to use this one again later and I sure hope I’ll find some way to remember this issue and prevent even more failed tasks! But, as I said, started a new trial last night, though this is another one that’s clearly not an option. It killed explorer.exe and restarted it in an odd way while installing, the network icon being completely disabled, but it worked again after I killed and restarted it again myself, though I also rebooted after that for good measure. A strange thing is that I’m not seeing the Samsung Magician icon in the notification area anymore after that reboot, though it was there after I updated it, and the process is running. But this is about the new antivirus, and the first reason why it can’t be an option is that automatic updates can’t be disabled or even configured at all! I’m seeing registry entries, one listing one day and another three hours, which seem to match what I found when I searched, which seems to indicate that it checks daily for program updates and every three hours for definitions, and I’m also seeing a system task checking for something once every seven hours, but I’m blocked from editing those registry entries, so maybe I’ll try it in safe mode later and see what happens. Either way, I’m definitely noticing its performance impact, which is another reason why it can’t be an option, not that any was needed anymore.
But the main problem is what’s going on with that account, and whether somebody is actually trying to access it. Then again, if that’s happening, writing about it here is probably a bad idea, but at the same time it may count as evidence in case they’ll succeed and I’ll need to recover it. Still not seeing any unusual activity though, but I guess an attempt to gain access may be made without actually trying to sign in, using the forms. The fact that I reacted to that message and changed the password, twice in fact, and have been thoroughly checking everything since then, should probably alert anyone checking that request to the fact that it’s not from the account’s actual owner and said owner has been alerted and is trying to avoid losing it. But I’ve also been asking for more advice, and we’ll see what will happen. In case anyone, other than the possible hacker, is reading this and has any ideas that might help figure out exactly what’s happening or notices something unusual, or will notice something unusual apparently coming from me, do let me know…

Written by Cavalary on May 10, 2020 at 5:01 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Probably the Last SETI@home Tasks, Connection Issues, Dad, Cooking and Filth

Yesterday I cleaned my room somewhat more thoroughly, also rearranging some things, getting rid of a few, and changing my sheets and flipping my mattress over. Then, at night, while dad was working in the living room, I also cooked a little, and when I got back on the computer, before he went to bed and I reconnected, I blocked all of Avira‘s processes from connecting, since the Avira Antivirus Pro trial should expire today, I don’t know exactly when and it keeps connecting on its own. At first, it still said it was going to expire in one day, but when I checked again before going to bed I got conflicting information, some apparently indicating that I was on the free edition and some that the Pro still had a license that was expiring soon, and the situation seems to continue at the moment, nothing seeming to have changed in the Antivirus interface. And the CPU use I see when I execute programs, open files or visit sites would indicate that it’s still doing something, so I’ll leave it for a while longer, albeit without updates. It’ll be unpleasant if it’ll disable itself tonight, since if I didn’t do it today, I doubt I’ll get myself to move on to something else, possibly also restoring from the backup before doing so, before at least Saturday, but at the moment I’m trying to just write this and leave worrying too much about that for later.

Monday I went out, though I hadn’t planned to do so. Dad was supposed to go to my grandmother’s to bring them some things and take the cats to have their shots, but after I got up and he finished a long call, he said he wasn’t going to go then anymore, and he won’t just go to Kaufland either. The initial plan was to go there on the way, and I had told him that they had 30% off all pet products that day, which was something we couldn’t miss, but since he wasn’t going to go anymore, I had to. Hadn’t shaved, hadn’t clipped my fingernails, and it was also raining a little, but I just ate an apple and a slice of cozonac, didn’t even take a shit, grabbed the last regular mask, or at least the last one dad claimed he didn’t wear, not wanting my beard to damage mine even more, and went right out a bit after 3:10 PM. Was considering going to the Kaufland at Vitan, since the stocks are better there, and then also to the Carrefour from the park on the way back, for bread, since I was more likely to find unsliced one there, but it was late, so I just went to these other ones… And my concerns about stocks were confirmed.
At Kaufland, could only find the cans for Micky and the treats for Liza, and while I knew that they don’t sell the cans for Rocky or Liza’s food, nor the large bags of the other kind, they should have the medium bags, and there was an area on the shelf with that label there, but it was empty. Even spent some time around the entrance to the storage area, until an employee came out, to ask whether they had any more, but she said they didn’t. Could get one large bag of it from Carrefour though, since it was discounted there as well, even if the discount was lower. Should have purchased the olives from there too, but when I noticed that they were on sale at Kaufland I just grabbed some, knowing that my mother tends to ask for olives now and then and Kaufland usually has the cheapest ones anyway, but then I saw that same kind for even less at Carrefour. What I didn’t see there, on the other hand, was that kind of bread that wasn’t sliced, and even asked an employee and she said they didn’t have it unsliced, so I just got that bag of cat food and an expiring thing… And then scratched a finger quite badly with a fingernail after I got out, as I was quickly switching the bags from one hand to the other to grab my cap before the wind blew it away. Was passing by Kaufland then and considered going up to wash or disinfect the spot, but I decided against it and got back here at 5:30 PM. Meant to cook then, but dad announced that he was going to make pancakes, so the cooking was left for the next day, as I already mentioned… And also only showered at night, not right after getting back. But at least I had pancakes, I guess…

Speaking of dad and cooking, Thursday I had another crash, caused just by that, or more specifically by the mess and filth he leaves behind. The bathroom also pretty much needs to be bathed in something against mold, but that was about the kitchen, since I just try to clean the specific spots I use before I use them, but the rest is quite nauseating and trying to clean it would be an exercise in futility. When I got there Wednesday night and started cleaning after him, I was starting to feel nauseous, which I told him when he cheerily came there to finish eating while I was doing that. He genuinely didn’t seem to know what filth I was referring to, or why would it matter when I pointed it out, and when he meant to start cooking while I was there on Thursday and I told him to watch what he’ll soil, he cheerily said he’ll soil everything. That prompted me to stare at him for a moment and then say that, if he’s a pig, he should keep in mind that there are others living in the pigsty as well. He left the kitchen then, rather angrily throwing that I can’t take a joke over his shoulder, and that messed me up even more… Then again, the thought of him trying to clean up after himself, which did happen that time, did so as well, considering what that means for him.
Crawled in bed around 7:15 PM that evening and only crawled back out at 10 PM, but slept less than one hour during that time, just feeling that I couldn’t handle the situation anymore. Heard that he was trying to wash things and put them back and, as I already said, that made it even worse, knowing that I’ll have even more work to do when I’ll get there, as he’ll splash water everywhere and use huge amounts of stuff to supposedly “wash” things but still leave them even visibly dirty, leave the sponges soaked and thrown in various places, set the things to dry where the water will just pool around them and likely drip down on the kitchen cabinet, and also likely put them back in while still wet. Still, went to the kitchen about half an hour after getting out of bed and did spend almost one hour cleaning up after his attempt to clean up, but expected worse, so I guess he at least made a bit of an effort that one time. Unfortunately, the effort was to clean up a bit less badly than before, leaving a bit less “damage” for me to “fix”, and not to avoid using and soiling so many things in the first place, or at least to learn how to properly clean up. But I guess that’d go completely against his mindset of not caring about “things” and not being economical, apparently because he sees that as a sign of poverty and refuses to feel or act poor.

As it tends to happen when I’m in such a state, the computer seemed to have some issues that night as well. Had finally unplugged the old network cables from the UPS that day, but that shouldn’t have affected this one, yet when I plugged it back in at night, it kept saying that I was disconnected or it just didn’t work despite not displaying any problem. Had also noticed some brief moments when it seemed to stop working after I started disabling my LAN chipset instead of unplugging the cable from the router, so I won’t need to go there to connect and disconnect anymore, but after noticing those brief moments I had decided to unplug the cable from my computer instead, to see how that changed things, and it obviously made it much worse. It all seemed to work well again after I plugged the cable coming from the router into the UPS, putting the one coming from the UPS back in use to get the signal to the computer, and I didn’t unplug any cable again since then, getting back to disabling the chipset when I wanted to disconnect, which didn’t seem to cause any more issues… Until today, since I noticed another one of those brief moments when it didn’t seem to work when I spent a little time on-line before dad woke up. It may not be a real issue, or it may not be caused by my computer, but at the same time it very well may be, and I was supposed to stop sharing the connection, one way or another, in March, and it’s already May… And now, as if I wasn’t worried about enough things already, I checked the router’s information again and I’m seeing 305 errors for my connection, and there used to only be eight. It is possible that they appeared while I was cleaning yesterday, if I touched the cables while vacuuming or dusting, but I’ll need to keep an eye on it…

April 30 was also another day with no visits recorded in either view, as was May 3. But May 3 is more notable because that’s when my computer finished the last SETI@home tasks. The last ones received so far, sure, but I doubt I’ll get any more from now on. Had actually squeezed a few more between those MilkyWay@home tasks that I had to go through those days because they were close to the deadline and reached that target credit of 7.5 million on April 29, then went through the remaining ones once those MilkyWay@home ones were done and completed those that still needed results first, and then left it to finish all the rest as well, which happened pretty much when I woke up, at 2:30 PM, on May 3. Could also connect and report them a little over one hour later, soon after I got on the computer, but made sure to hold off on the last one that was completed, so it’ll also be reported separately, a few minutes after the rest. Also noticed when I checked at that point that I was in the top 5% according to recent average credit, which only shows how many had finished everything quite some time ago, since my regular RAC wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere near the top 5% and the one I had at that time was around 70% of what it used to be. But, since I saved those pages as well, I’ll add the links to the information about this computer and its application details page here as well, so it won’t all get lost… Assuming these saved pages won’t somehow vanish, at least.

Otherwise, also read Ichor Well during this period, between April 29 and May 2, actually just leaving a little for that last day and finishing it when I woke up in the morning, managing to also write and post the quick review before dad woke up. Actually, just managed to finish the post for the Collection before disconnecting as well… And then, the next day, I downloaded and started the novelization of Planescape: Torment. Had started the Rhyss Hess one way back and then stopped, but for some reason found myself going through a few more scenes recently and decided to actually go for this “proper” one after all. And this is indeed a proper book, unlike that other one, and in fact I’ll go right back to reading now that I finished this.

Written by Cavalary on May 6, 2020 at 9:58 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Free-Wrench Collection: Volume 1

Considering how short the included books, or at least the first two, are, I’m tempted to call Free-Wrench Collection: Volume 1 the real first book in the series, even if that makes the recapitulation at the start of Ichor Well rather tedious. Other than that, I still don’t like how such Kindle bundles work, the whole thing being a single file and a single library entry, but that’s Amazon‘s fault.

Quick reviews of the included books:
Free-Wrench – Rating: 3/5 [Note: Review of the stand-alone edition, in case there are any differences.]
Skykeep – Rating: 3/5
Ichor Well – Rating: 3/5

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on May 2, 2020 at 12:49 PM in Books | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Ichor Well

Note: The review refers to the edition included in Free-Wrench Collection: Volume 1.

Somewhat to my surprise, Ichor Well is more like a proper book in terms of size, albeit at the low end of that range. The final chapter again delivers in terms of the action, while until then there’s space for more details and dialogues, a slower pace and more of a focus on the characters. In terms of this latter aspect, more nuances are added to the fug folk and a few are fleshed out a little more as individuals, though I’d say enough with the names, especially last names, that are variations of white or white objects already! On the other hand, not much is being done for the Wind Breaker’s crew, the only visible effort being to continue to develop Lil but even that failing to produce worthwhile results.
Another notable problem is that it often feels like the author is thinking with his fingers. Effort is being made, but the “guts” are showing, many of the thought processes going into worldbuilding and potential outcomes of the action seeming rather dumped on the page, often by putting them in the mouths of characters. The clear impression is that, by attempting something more ambitious, the limits of the author’s skill become far more obvious in every way.
Admittedly, Lucius is such a caricature of a villain that it’s hard to take anything seriously with him in the picture, and the fact that those points previously made about some of the things wrong in our world and the calls to fight against them are also lost in the details would also seem to indicate a story that’s not meant to be taken too seriously, at least not anymore. But, in that case, the pace is too slow and the real action too little, too late, leaving Ichor Well uncomfortably straddling between the simple adventure that Skykeep was and the much more ambitious work that at other times it seems to strive to be. I’d still call it the better book, but its flaws are harder to dismiss.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on May 2, 2020 at 12:13 PM in Books | 0 Comments

More SETI@home Tasks, Fees Even for Donations and Two Slow Runs

Since I finished this hours ago but can only post it after midnight, I’m using the file time. With that out of the way, I’ll start by saying that, after needing all of three days, April 19 to 21, to read Skykeep and also post quick review for it, I mean to also go through Ichor Well this week, but let’s see how it’ll go after writing this. That’s also because, on the one hand, I’m at a point in Lionheart that makes me wary of continuing, which should therefore make me push myself to do just that so I won’t give up on it for who knows how long, while on the other, I really should let the computer go through the work units it has to go through, for both MilkyWay@home, which is the current emergency, since until last evening I had suspended that project and they’re about to time out, and SETI@home, since I received quite a number and am just about to reach that target credit of 7.5 million, but shouldn’t risk waiting long enough for them to be canceled, if that will happen.
On the topic of SETI@home, received 33 work units on April 18, then had just finished those when I received a full quota of 150 the following night, which also means that the maximum work units per day limit doesn’t apply anymore, or perhaps it never did, or not in this manner, since mine was way lower at that time, considering that mess. That still wouldn’t have been enough, but I then received 60 more, the first two coming separately, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, when I quickly checked when I woke up to go to the toilet, and the other 58 coming at once later on Wednesday, taking me back to a full quota, so there would have likely been more available if I’d have finished more by then. Those would have just barely been enough, if I calculated everything correctly, taking me at most a few hundred credits over that threshold, and possibly even less than 100, but after seeing calls to cancel unneeded tasks, as in those that have already been validated but which have been sent to more than the necessary number of users, since that’s what the project is doing now in order to hasten the completion of all remaining work units, I was worried that it’ll actually happen, and my chances of hitting that target depended on completing all those tasks, when only a few of them were actually still needed, the other computers which had received them being way faster. However, Sunday night I got back to a full quota, receiving 117 more tasks, so once again I’d have probably received more if I’d have finished more before then. And this should ensure that I’ll get well over 7.5 million, but I’m not quite there yet, have to pause SETI@home for the next few days to catch up with MilkyWay@home, and just about all of these new, for me, tasks that I have remaining have already been validated as well, so I certainly hope they won’t end up being canceled by then and leave me so near and yet so far…

Before moving on to the two days when I went out, I’ll add here that last Sunday I sent an e-mail to Elena P. as well, since there was no sign otherwise, but did say that nothing good can come of it and I likely shouldn’t have sent the earlier messages either, so in case this will be the last contact it’d at least be fitting, since the last contact 18 years ago was also around Easter. The address I found is quite clearly her work one, and I did find it on a site where mental health professionals volunteer their services for those who need them during this period, and there was a phone number there as well, and I did consider sending a message that way, making it less obvious who I am, to possibly prompt a reply that way, but as I said, nothing good can come of it anyway, so decided against it. And, of course, there was no reply to the e-mail.
Other than that, slept poorly Saturday morning. Kept waking up, wasn’t sure when I was awake and caught in worries and fears and when I was asleep and having nightmares, got up at noon to go to the bathroom and noticed that my gums were bleeding, on the lower right side, and the bleeding wouldn’t stop until I held cold water there for a while… Spent some time on the computer after that and meant to also wait for the 1 PM daily report, but dad woke up just before that time and I disconnected, watching the news on TV instead, then played a little more Lionheart and crawled back in bed. Couldn’t get back to sleep though, also being bothered by noise made by dad and the upstairs neighbor, and while things were quieter after 2 PM or so, I can’t really say how much I slept even after that, if at all, until I finally got up, at 3:40 PM. It is possible that I did nap for up to one hour, but it’s also possible that I spent at least most of that time just curled up in a ball, caught in those same thoughts, unable to find any comfortable position and feeling that I was just cracking apart, going through the reasons why and feeling like I was running out of mental “breath” before I could even finish the list…

Last week’s run was Thursday, when I again had the alarm wake me up at 11 AM, had the usual stuff plus almonds, with a piece of apple pie as something sweet, and went out at 1:15 PM, when the reported temperature was 18°C, though it was rather windy at times. Had the running pants and t-shirt and the regular shoes, but this time around didn’t take the other stuff I was going to need later with me, so I just went for the run at first. The problem was that I had eaten some things that didn’t really agree with me those days, probably starting with having too many eggs and possibly also including some of the sweets, but at least I finally managed to get rid of some excess weight before leaving, after three days of being constipated.
Under those circumstances, I only aimed to stay under 50 minutes and the time was 49:52.40, with lap times of 12:28.18, 12:24.09, 12:38 (12:37.80) and 12:22.33. On lap one I had to stop for a few seconds to let a car pass, deciding not to risk trying to squeeze ahead of it past the spot where the sidewalk was blocked even though I’d have had time to do so, and it also slowed for a speed bump, making me wait even longer. On the first two laps there was also a large car parked so I had to pick my way around it at the end of that alley in that nicer bit of the route, and on lap two there was a woman with a dog there as well, just standing in that area and talking on the phone, so I had to also squeeze past her the first time, and then she moved in front of the car and the dog’s leash meant that the next two times I had to pass through that spot before leaving that area I had to go around another car, and also a tree once. Then, on lap three, I think I had to briefly stop for two cars, though there’s a chance that one of them was on lap four, also slow for another and weave to make room for a couple of others. As for lap four, an old woman with a little dog had stopped to talk to someone else at the end of that same alley, the dog being off the leash and making for my legs each time I passed by, making me need to be careful each time I passed that spot. The dog had also charged for my legs as I passed them on lap three, when they were walking to that area, but she had the leash to pull it back then, while on lap four she was just calling to it, only picking it up after I passed the first time but putting it back down before I came through there the second time.

Had a whole lot of recyclables to take out, including those things I take to Kaufland, and had placed them near the door, along with my jacket and the bag with the other stuff, so after the run I just came up, grabbed everything and left again. Had some tiny insect end up in my eyelashes on the way to Kaufland, and trying to blow it away obviously didn’t work with the mask on, and I didn’t want to touch my face, but it eventually did end up blown to my cap and I could pick it off that. That actually happened just as I was about to reach a bank that’s close to that Kaufland, since I went there first, meaning to make that donation, but a note stated that the location in question was closed during the state of emergency, so I had to leave it for another time.
After dropping off those things I drop off there and checking prices in Kaufland, I also went to that Carrefour and got a few things. Kept hovering around the cucumbers, trying to get an amount that’d result in a total that I had exact change for, but it was hard to pick some that weren’t too bad in the first place, and there were employees standing around there as well, and also trying to pick some for those who had ordered on-line, and one even commented about how bad they were, so I didn’t try enough times to manage that. That did lead to discovering quite a trick they were trying to pull, however, since I once used the scales next to the fruits and the price was almost double, though it was correct at the two that were closest to them. So I waited until I could weigh them there again, finished shopping there, then went back to also get what I wanted from Kaufland and walked back. Also checked the nearby Mega Image for cabbage, but it was too expensive, so I went right back out and was just entering the building at 5 PM. Interestingly, the mask seemed better than last time, little water getting through when I washed it after getting back, though the spot where I think the tip of the nose is has the inner lining rubbed off pretty much completely.

This week’s run was yesterday, when I again slept poorly. Woke up just after 8 AM and wanted to pee, but dad was there at the time, so I had to wait for a while and had a hard time getting back to sleep after that, and kept waking up even when I did happen to manage to fall asleep. There were again moments when I wasn’t sure whether I was having nightmares or was just wrapped in my thoughts, but definitely had nightmares about computer problems, so it was something of a relief when the alarm again rang at 11 AM. Felt quite exhausted, but had the usual stuff plus almonds, and a slice of cozonac with honey as something sweet, spent quite some time on the toilet and only managed to get a little out, then went out when it was almost 1:20 PM, wearing the running pants and the regular shoes, but also a regular t-shirt. The reported temperature was again around 18°C, but there was less wind and it actually felt quite hot when there was no shade.
The time was an embarrassing 50:27.09, with lap times of 12:39.18, 12:26.43, 12:40 (12:39.51) and 12:42 (12:41.97), the main problem being that I had happened to hear how this type of mask is actually supposed to be worn and realized how much I had been breathing over it so far, since I bent that metal thing in order to have it fit around my nose before leaving and immediately realized that I won’t have any chance to run that way. Loosened it a bit at that point, but still had it on much more properly than before, and that made it a struggle, which became quite a desperate one on the last half a lap. There weren’t many other problems, only needing to slow for a car on that same lap four, just as the situation was starting to get desperate, plus something getting in my eye on lap two and bothering me for quite a long time, forgetting that loop once again for a moment on lap one and needing to turn around after a few meters, and slowing for a few seconds at the start of that same lap four to see the time better. But I was just out of air, and trying to breathe it in faster than it could get through the mask also meant that my nostrils were closing. Tried to manage it, resigning myself to the pace I could maintain under those circumstances, but on lap four I tried to push harder and things got a whole lot worse after turning around here, my nostrils starting to close pretty much completely. I tried not to, but soon enough I was forced to occasionally breathe in through my mouth and also pulled on the mask a few times, and probably made the fact that I had been wearing it at all completely irrelevant when I believe I stuck a finger inside a nostril to try to open it up again. I’m not completely sure, but my nose had just closed completely as I was pushing and I felt that if I didn’t get enough air in before the next step I’ll black out, so I just reacted in desperation.

Had bags and money with me again, so I kept going after the run, at first having a quick look in the nearby Mega Image, then walking to the Dristor metro station, mostly using the alleys between buildings, to leave those two old found cards, as they were about to expire. One only had one trip left on it, but the other listed eight yet I seem to remember seeing that it actually only had two left when I found it, the machines not printing the other uses, so I wanted to check again and write the real number above the little message, since I had written a little message on each, saying that anyone who needed a trip could take them. It didn’t work, however, the first machine reacting when I touched the “i” but just telling me to remove the card, without displaying any information, after that, and then no longer doing anything at all when I again touched that “i”, and the other three I tried not reacting at all from the beginning, despite repeated attempts. So I just left them on one, but at that point the cashier told me to not do that and that there’s a trash can nearby, and another person joined in when I went to the cashier instead, before they actually listened enough to hear that I was saying I wanted to leave them for those who needed them. The cashier then said that the wind will just blow them away, and a woman was just coming in, so when I spotted her behind me I asked whether she wanted some metro cards that are about to expire and she asked whether they were monthly passes, but the cashier urged her to just take them and she did, so I just told her the number of trips I thought were still on them and left.
From there, there was a slightly shorter route to Kaufland, but I spotted the sign for another location of that bank I needed to get to for that donation and went towards it instead, despite having checked and knowing that it should also be closed during this period, the open one being located past that Kaufland. And it was indeed closed, but since I kept going that way after passing by it, I also spotted a small shop that had Romanian cabbage that looked good enough for the lowest price I’ve seen these days, so I kept that in mind.
When I reached that area, I first checked that pet shop, seeing that they had indeed raised the prices for that kind of cat food as well, and dad had asked me to get some more for Rocky. Then I also checked prices at Kaufland, also for mouthwash, since he had also told me that my mother wanted some and the day’s offer was actually 30% off for all oral care products. Also looked at bread, but now, at least in that location, customers aren’t allowed in the bakery area anymore, but since they didn’t change the area and the products are readily accessible and not bagged anymore, they actually stop you from even approaching, so when I was trying to squint to read the ingredients an employee came and told me to ask her if I wanted anything, then quickly told me what the types of bread in the area I was looking at were made of, but in general terms when I just wanted to read the actual list of ingredients, exactly, for two or three of them.
Went back out after that, wanting to take care of that donation first. Was also wondering whether I should also go to Auchan, since that cat food should now be slightly cheaper there and there was also a chance of finding some bread I’d like more, but there was also the risk of going there for nothing and the time didn’t add up, so I just went to that bank. Had to wait outside for a while, since they only allow two people inside and there were two already there, but it wasn’t that long before one came out and I probably finished even faster. The infuriating part was that the person there told me there will be a fee, which turned out to be 10 RON, and I gather it’s a fixed fee, but since I was donating 50 RON, it ended up deducting 20% from the amount donated. Good thing I waited until I could put more aside and didn’t go to donate the 20 RON I initially had in mind, as that’d have been pretty much pointless. Did I mention how much I hate banks?
Back to that pet shop after that, getting that cat food, and then to Kaufland as well, getting what I wanted, plus some bread for dad that was discounted because it was expiring soon. Should have been three of those, but when I scanned the first one, which was actually the better one, at the self-checkout, I found myself holding slices of bread, the bag tearing, though I hadn’t noticed it being torn when I picked it up. That caused me to make a startled noise and the employee who was nearby told me to hand it to her if I no longer wanted it, but then immediately moved to help someone else, without canceling it as well, so I had to wait for her to finish and do that before I could scan anything else. But there were no other problems.
Used the same route on the way back, to return to that small shop and get a cabbage, and then I passed through the farmers’ market to get apples as well. Got two kinds, but only half a kilogram of the second kind, and the moment was rather awkward, since I was looking over the types that were on that stall and stopped at the pile that was right at the end, which turned out to not belong to the woman who had asked what I wanted. She followed me and weighed them, but I initially dismissed the slight bitterness I thought I heard in her voice when she asked whether those were the ones I wanted, until she asked what the price was and said that they weren’t hers. That prompted a surprised reaction from me, since she was the only person there at the time, so I just assumed that they were all her apples, even though I had indeed moved to the next stall, but at that point it was too late to perhaps get back to her stall and buy some of hers instead. She actually had some of the same kind and at the same price, but I liked those from the pile I chose a little better and until she said that I didn’t wonder why would the same person have the same product, at the same price, in two different piles. Did feel rather awkward because of it, but I took the apples, gave her the money and left her and the other person to sort it out I guess.
Got something else in my eye, actually the same eye, on the way back, and if I think that what got in my eye during the run was a small petal, that seemed worse and my eye occasionally stung for hours after I got back, though by the time I went to bed it seemed fine again. But I was back at 5 PM, again sticking to the schedule I made for the days when I’ll go out during this period… And had another banana, which again made me feel nauseous. But I was apparently lucky to be able to take a shower then, because there had been no hot water when I left and the problem returned today, so I caught just the right moment.

Written by Cavalary on April 28, 2020 at 8:58 PM in Personal | 0 Comments