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Quick Review: Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

I’m not in a position to comment on the validity of the science and conclusions presented and don’t care enough to actively seek out the book written to refute them. I will, however, say that the vast majority of what’s presented here is irrelevant either way. The book itself states at one point that “natural” human behavior can change greatly when the conditions do without this making it any less natural, so the behavior patterns of immediate-return hunter-gatherers, not to mention bonobos, need not have anything to do with those of the tremendous majority of people since the advent of “civilization”.
What is relevant has to do with what would be right and making use of the uniquely human capacity of using reason to analyze instincts and urges and override them if that proves the better course of action. One major issue would be commitment, maintaining relationships, be they exclusive or not, yet the authors infuriatingly tend to use the data to argue against it, at least until the last part. But for me personally, as a militant antinatalist and with overpopulation as my main cause, the biggest problem is how many arguments, be they for the current socially-acceptable model or for that the authors advocate, rely on having and raising children at a time when behaviors based on or leading to that need to be stamped out by any means necessary.
Still, the book is written reasonably well, reads easily enough and even the first four parts may be mildly interesting in themselves. But anyone caring for what may actually be relevant in the present day may skip straight to the last part, or perhaps even the last chapter, where the authors seem to plead their case more directly and open up a conversation about what clearly doesn’t work in the current model, the suffering caused by the breakups inherent to serial monogamy and the unhappiness caused by enforced exclusivity with one partner and perhaps limited intimacy with other people. That is indeed what we need to find solutions for, whether they match or run counter to our “nature”.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on April 7, 2019 at 6:04 PM in Books | 0 Comments

New Record Over a Half Marathon Distance

Covered a half marathon distance again yesterday, and despite the conditions I managed a time of 1:42:52, beating the previous record by 1:12! Sector times were 4:19, 5:08, 5:48, 4:27, 4:55, 5:47, 4:26, 5:00, 5:50, 4:29, 5:05, 5:52, 4:32, 5:10, 5:59, 4:41, 5:17, 6:07, 1:53, 6:12 and 1:55, making for lap times of 15:15, 15:09, 15:16, 15:26, 15:41 and 16:05, plus 10:00 on that final portion. So I gained on every single lap, and also on that final portion, compared to that previous record, though 51 seconds were gained on laps two and three, eight on the first, seven on the fourth and only six more after that. In addition, I have a new best time for 16 kilometers as well. Obviously don’t have a picture of that time, but I covered the five laps in 1:16:47, beating the previous record by seven seconds while still having over five kilometers to go. So, if I was saying last time that it’s not enough but it is something I can work with if I’m to aim for an official time under 1:45 in May, this is something I can definitely work with a whole lot better.
Can’t say I was completely recovered after wandering around and carrying stuff two days before, but the obvious thing was that my left arm was still a bit sore, so at least my legs seemed all right. My left ankle and right knee gave me a few warnings while I ran, but nothing serious, and my legs seem quite fine now as well. Did feel a bit sore when I woke up, especially the joints, most noticeably my left ankle, but that seemed to stop after I ate something, leaving me just feeling a bit weak. My nose is also a bit irritated and runny, but nothing like last week, and while my throat is still a bit sore as well, it’s less so than when I woke up yesterday and a whole lot less than Tuesday. Was actually worried then, my throat being really sore and thinking I definitely can’t afford anything like that now, but took something, made tea and tried to rest a bit more and it seems to be getting better, so if when I first thought I noticed something, Monday, I dismissed it as likely caused by having eaten popcorn the previous evening, possibly after burning myself with the hot chocolate I drank Saturday, when I planted trees, Tuesday I was worried that I might have caught something, most likely Saturday, but now I’m thinking that it may just be irritated after all, possibly due to how I breathed while wandering around and in that wind, and with that popcorn and hot chocolate not helping either.
Either way, ate the usual stuff, got ready, decided to still wear just the t-shirt from my first half marathon despite a reported temperature of 15°C and quite a lot of wind, and went out just before 4 PM. It was chilly on the way, I was looking for sunny areas and hoping for breaks in the wind, and the wind was the main reason why I didn’t expect much. Hadn’t even looked over my previous times again and I didn’t remember them to be able to compare while I ran, but definitely didn’t think I’ll need to at first. In fact, at first I didn’t even think past the first three laps, and only meant to do what would be normal times for ten kilometers, averaging no more than 15:30, on those.
Things, of course, changed after I started running, but the first change was just that, after I saw that 15:15 on lap one, I thought I’ll just stick to 15:30 on the second and allow myself to slip to 15:45 on the third, to maintain that average. The plan changed a bit when I saw that even faster second lap, the new target for the third being 15:35, to stay under 46 minutes at that point. But that was also when I started to think farther ahead and realized that, if I did manage that, I will get 1:44 if I could average 16 minutes on the next three laps and somehow cover that final portion in ten, meaning that anything I could gain compared to those targets earlier I’ll afford to lose later. Even after gaining pretty much all the time I needed to over the third lap’s first two sectors, I didn’t mean to do better right away, just meaning to not drop below the target for 16-minute laps on any sector, knowing it’ll be hard to get back from such a slip. Even when I gained 20 more seconds over sector three of lap three and ended up aiming for 15:50 on lap four, I didn’t do it aiming for a time of 1:43:30, but just to allow myself to lose those 30 seconds later and still just squeeze under that previous record.
It was only after seeing the time after four laps that I started thinking of actually doing better, though at first I just meant to stay under 1:17 after five laps. Was still on sector one of lap five, however, when I realized that staying under 1:17 would put me really close to a new record on 16 kilometers, and after seeing that I was sort of on track for that after that first sector, I aimed for 5:11 on the second, to ensure I’ll be under 1:17, and when I saw I managed 5:10 I decided to go for it on the third, despite knowing it’ll probably mean sacrificing my chances of staying under 16 minutes on lap six as well, which was indeed the case. Was getting quite tired after that point, even worried about hitting the wall before the end, but that didn’t happen and I still got pretty good times despite starting to feel like I was running out of energy. A bit annoyed that I covered that final portion in exactly ten minutes instead of managing to get under that time, but it is what it is.
At least there weren’t too many people this time around, so that was definitely a good thing, but it sure was windy. On the first two laps I had to hold my cap several times, feeling like it was going to get blown off, and there were areas where I really felt like I had to push against the wind. After that, not sure whether I had my cap on better and learned to position my head, and perhaps my whole body, better in those areas, or just got used to the feeling more, probably a combination of these, but I didn’t hold on to my cap anymore and not even those areas felt quite so windy anymore. It’s even possible that the wind had lessened a bit, but it definitely remained noticeable all the way to the end.
For such a distance, there weren’t many notable moments otherwise. I guess one might be sector two of lap two, that 4:55 being very fast even when I run ten kilometers, and surprisingly so for such a distance. Then, at the end of sector one of lap four, a guy fell in behind me and I heard him being just a bit faster, so I held my line to let him pass me and he slowly did so, giving me a thumbs up and a nod as he passed. I had him in sight for the rest of that lap and at least most of the first sector of the next, as he was only slightly faster. Another moment was on that final portion, just as I started its second sector, so what’s a seventh sector three of a lap, when an older man fell in pretty much alongside me and seemed a bit faster at first, so I might have held back just a bit as he went in front of me, but after a few moments I knew I had more in me and overtook him, and when I looked back a while later I didn’t see him behind me at all anymore. And then, a bit later on that same sector, a ball rolled across the path, right in front of me, and ended up in the lake. Those who had kicked it shouted something, maybe they’d have wanted me to stop it, but I had covered some 20 kilometers by then, was tired and cared for my time, so I was quite busy just making sure I didn’t trip on it.

Since I mentioned Monday, went to various places to buy a bunch of things then, dad pointing out the need for cat food again, and also for one more thing for the cats, as I meant to go out. Left at 3:35 or 3:40 PM, took the metro to Obor again, first going to that Carrefour to get one kind of cat food, garlic and some bread, and check other prices. Found a fair number of discounted, expiring things again, but nothing I wanted, so then I went to the Kaufland from that area too, to get some more of those things Liza is addicted to and some tomatoes. Then, after having quickly passed through a part of it on the way to Carrefour, took a better look through that market on the way back. Doubt any actual producers are there, more like a local mafia, but I did get a few things… And had a few interesting moments.
After spotting a few selling things very cheaply quite some distance away from the rest, I got lettuce and had the women who were there try to sell me radishes as well, pointing out, correctly, that the bunches were large and cheap and, when I said I still had some purchased earlier, that I must have paid more for less. Also spotted suspiciously cheap cucumbers in that area, but first went back to the actual market, pretty much just passing through, though I did get a bunch of green garlic. Then I went back to the main area outside, to a spot where I had seen cheap apples, but when I started putting some in a bag the woman who was there pointed out the price and asked whether I had seen any sign that it was self-service that she missed. Then she went on to say that if I’m to pick even from that pile what was she going to do there, why even attend her stall, and eventually, when I rather shrugged her off and went back to picking, telling me to stop picking since she won’t “give” me any. Funny, I thought she’d be selling, not giving, but either way, I just dumped the apples I had picked back in the pile and left, giving her the middle finger as she was loudly commenting that I had been grinning at her like a fool too, which I guess was probably right, since I tend to do that when I need to interact with someone.
That rather drained me, but I still had those cheap cucumbers to check out, so I went back there and, not noticing that they were at the same price on two stalls, one with a person there and the next one without, I went to that one without anyone and started picking, at which point the person from that manned stall asked whether I wanted cucumbers. It was only then that I looked and saw the pile in front of her as well, and that she was looking oddly at me, so I asked if I was supposed to get them from there and moved to do so, at which point she said she thought I was going to just grab some and run, apparently the person from the next stall assuming the same thing and asking her about it. I tried to pass it off lightly, but I was already shaken by the previous conflict and couldn’t exactly find words, so I eventually picked just over one kilogram and agreed when she asked whether she should just put one back to not go over anymore as I was digging for change through my pockets… And then ended up giving her 1 RON more without realizing it, but she was fair and pointed it out, giving me that 1 RON back. The cucumbers turned out to not be too good though, and while there wasn’t that much to throw out that first evening, by the time I used the last of them, last night, those left were quite badly spoiled. But can’t complain too much, at that price.
After all of that, I’m not surprised that I got confused at the metro, going to the right line at first but suddenly being convinced that it was the wrong one when the train came, running to the other side but stopping on the way to read the sign and making my way back to wait for the next train. So I lost some time and was back here at 6:25 PM, just dropping stuff off, peeing and rushing off again, hoping to catch the free bus to Auchan. However, around that time it seems that it skips this area, and can say I pretty much confirmed it now, when I saw the one going the other way turn on another street after passing this stop, so it’s likely that I was right when, in the past, I thought I saw the one coming this way turning on that same street before reaching this stop. So after just losing a bit of time waiting there, I walked, though I did catch the other free bus once I got past the park.
Getting there at that time and with that bus did work out very nicely though, as I found 20 RON in the parking lot. Looked around, didn’t see anybody who seemed to be looking for something, took a few steps, looked around again, then put them in my pocket and went inside, getting what I meant to get from there. No more bread of the kind I prefer at that hour, but there were still some of the other kind, so got three, to add to what I had purchased from Carrefour and have enough for this entire period. Then, at the checkout, noticed that the cashier had scanned a single yogurt from the pack instead of the pack and pointed it out to her, so I didn’t end up gaining even more, and in fact lost 0.02 RON, since after that she scanned one of the breads twice and didn’t scan the cheapest one, since they are priced according to weight.
The free bus coming back here had left a couple of minutes before I got back out, but I had initially meant to check out that Supeco too, so went that way, even though I was already uncertain… And then decided against it on the way, so I kept going to the metro station, getting there at exactly 8 PM, and got back to the Carrefour at Obor to get the remaining things, carrying everything there and shoving it all in one of those cabinets. Or first in one, then moving everything to the one next to it, since that first one’s key didn’t have a number on it and I didn’t want to risk anything. Also spotted that one of the kinds of tea I had bought from Auchan was slightly cheaper there, but I had already purchased it. So, carrying even more things, though not really having trouble with it and definitely having enough bags for space to not be an issue this time around, I got back here at 9:25 PM.

Written by Cavalary on April 4, 2019 at 9:05 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

New Second Bests for Both 16 and Ten Kilometers

This will be long, and I wrote it over two days, despite leaving the Botanical Garden part, where I volunteered again on March 24, for another time. Also considered taking part in an event to clean up a certain area of the city, this morning, but decided against it. And when I started writing it I assumed I won’t be planting trees this spring, since one group just announced on Thursday that Saturday they will plant close to Bucharest, the first event I found to take place around here this time around, but they need only 50 people, which was the reason for the short notice, and they won’t offer transportation, so I won’t be going. Found another group that seems to call for volunteers to plant trees far away, at Sinaia, on April 6, offering transportation from Bucharest, but I don’t know anything about them and they don’t give details about what will be provided and what people should bring, or even if the transportation will need to be paid, plus that planting in a mountain area is usually hard, so I’m not risking it, not even to ask.
However, last night I noticed a sponsored post on my Facebook feed, from the page of the half marathon, calling for volunteers to plant trees tomorrow in Baneasa Forest, at the outskirts of Bucharest, and while they don’t offer transportation, you can get close to the location by bus. Would normally want to avoid buses, but I’ll use one for this, and hope I won’t get lost after that, getting to the location on roads that seem to go through the forest. In fact I thought I’ll have to walk on roads going right through the forest all the way, since another bus stop seemed closer to the listed location to me, but when I asked they said to get off at the stop before that, which would mean walking right on the edge of the forest, between it and what seems to be the Police Academy, before eventually turning right on a road going right through the forest to reach the actual location. That the actual organizers are those who built a residential complex in the area, clearing a part of the forest and pushing to clear even more in order to build another access road, bothers me, but I’m not going to not plant trees because of that. Will need to somehow sew those old pants I keep around for such events tonight though, since they tore badly when I was at the Botanical Garden.

Moving on, the problem with Emsisoft Anti-Malware still wasn’t fixed and I doubt it will be, even if resetting to factory settings made it work again for a little while, I found that updating manually causes it to fail and apparently the developers asked for logs. But I have zero confidence that it won’t freeze my computer again when I’ll turn logging back off if I turn it on again for this, and at this point pretty much gave it up as a lost cause, and the same goes for any chance to have functional security software working in a way that I could at least tolerate without huge amounts of frustration and even anger. Unfortunately, after seeing it fail yet again after I finally installed this month’s Windows updates too, on March 20, I ended up just about shitting myself, since that’s what happens when I’m worried about computer problems, and holding it in meant there was some blood again, after a long time. Not much, but it was there, and it was a few days before things seemed all right again.

About the site, still didn’t get around to copying any of those remaining old book reviews, but on March 16 I worked out a quick way to get my games played list display the quick reviews without changing the data structure and wrote the one for Hordes of the Underdark, some two and a half years after finishing it. Still plan to write one such review for Eschalon as well, but at the moment I no longer need more non-personal posts so urgently… And I wonder if I won’t make another one about that sex education forum I mentioned, since, much to my surprise, on the evening of March 22 I saw I had a reply from The Guardian about my submission, and out of everything I included in it, they said they were interested in that one and wanted more details… Which, of course, resulted in another reply that got away from me, so I only finished and sent it the next day, but then also sent a very short version as well, and then ended up exchanging a few messages with Ria too, after a very long time, after asking her if she knew more about exactly when it shut down.

It was the evening of March 20 when I just learned of the blackout, so I quickly set something up, and then on March 23 I obviously meant to take part in the protest, but I just wasted my time, walking there and back, arriving just before the announced start time of 1 PM, and standing around, one of only 15 people or so, including two from Sweden and one from Poland, and two girls who didn’t approach the group when they saw how few we were, waiting on a bench for a while and then just taking pictures of each other with their signs and leaving. Was also uncomfortable with the opinions expressed by some of the others who were there, as we just stood around and talked, but still stayed until 3:30 PM. The other event had the Bucharest protest listed as starting at 4 PM, the hour changing after it had been 3 PM, so I wondered whether at least a few more would come then, but I had wasted enough time by then and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway. Did at least manage to write e-mails to the Romanian MEPs, Saturday night, so in the early hours of Sunday, so I at least did my part, despite the infuriating and frightening outcome.

Now, last week’s run was on March 18, 16 kilometers, and the time was 1:17:23, which is a new second best. Sector times were 4:16, 5:05, 5:49, 4:25, 4:55, 5:47, 4:31, 5:03, 5:56, 4:36, 5:09, 6:04, 4:40, 5:14 and 5:53, making for lap times of 15:10, 15:07, 15:30, 15:49 and 15:47. Aimed for a better time than last time, and preferably better than the 1:17:55 managed for this distance during the half marathon run, and then for 1:17:45, to be certain, so definitely managed all of that, despite hitting my right big toe on a bench during the few stretching moves I do before running. Had to wait a bit for the pain to subside and was worried that the nail jabbed the toe when I hit it, thought there’d be blood, but there was none, though a small bruise did seem to form under that nail.
Was a bit surprised to see lap two being faster than the first, then aimed for and just managed 15:30 on the third, though I doubted it all the way to the end of that lap. After that, I knew I could afford almost 16 minutes for the last two laps, but lap four was the key, as I was thinking of that 15:50 from last time and just managed to stay under it, then pushed with what I had left on lap five. Liver started hurting from the start of lap three, got quite bad towards the end of sector two and on sector three I felt I just couldn’t keep going like that anymore, but managed to snap my back the right way and change the way I was stepping and my posture and breathing, and by lap four I was fine again. There were a few warnings from my right knee, but not an issue.
Went out just a few minutes before 4 PM, the reported temperature was around 25°C and it was sunny, so wore just the half marathon t-shirt. There was a bit of wind in a few places on the first two laps, but not after that. There were plenty of people though, lost a bit of time because of that, had to go off the path a few times… One notable such moment was when I had to go around a bench too in order to get past a blocked spot, and then on lap five’s second sector there were a few different spots where the path was blocked, causing me to lose a bit of time as I found my way through. Did get a bit of help at the very end though, as a guy was running in front of me at that point and I gave it everything to catch him, likely making me a bit faster than I’d have been otherwise. Not sure that I would have caught him if he’d have held the inside, but he went on the outside on that last turn, though then again there was a wall of people forming right at the end of the lap, so I might have caught him there either way. And then an older woman seemed to congratulate me as I was approaching the park exit after the run, don’t know whether she thought I had just taken part in a competition or just because it was obvious I had made quite some effort and had likely taken part in a competition at least in the past, due to the t-shirt.

This week’s run was Monday, and the time was 47:05, in fact the exact time I saw being 47:05.34, which is a new second best over ten kilometers. Sector times were 4:24, 4:56, 5:49, 4:27, 4:57, 5:44, 4:26, maybe 4:53, maybe 5:45, and 1:44, making for lap times of 15:09, 15:08 and 15:04. Have plenty of exact times, remembered pretty much every one for the first two laps, but unfortunately couldn’t quite remember the time at the end of sector two of lap three, not long enough to write it down at least. I will add two exact times, since they were fast, and those are what was actually 4:55.87 on sector two of lap one, and 5:44.56 on sector three of lap two. About that sector two of lap three, however, I will go with 4:53, which would make sector three 5:45, since I know they were 10:38 put together. It may be 4:54 and 5:44, but other options seem far less likely, though not impossible.
I was too exhausted for my brain to work properly at that point; I know that after sector three I didn’t even calculate the time for that sector, relying on the fact that, at that moment, I remembered the time after the previous one and thinking I’ll calculate it on the way back, but then I didn’t quite get to that point, as I was going through all the times again, when I got to the building entrance and a man asked me something about this office that’s in the building. So, if I still remembered it then, the memories got messed up, and then I wanted to be sure I got those exact times for the first two laps right before writing down the third as well, at which point I realized I couldn’t remember that time at all, and it didn’t come back to me after that. Do recall something about deducting six or seven seconds, actually trying to figure out which one it was, from five minutes, and that memory seems to go with an image of the early part of sector three, and with being surprised that it was the fastest time on that previous sector, but there were other moments when I was wondering about six or seven seconds. However, at that point the six or seven thing went for two things, as 39:36 would have meant 4:53, so deducting seven seconds, and 39:37 would have meant 4:54, so deducting six. Also, I could remember another moment with 36 seconds, since after sector one of lap two I was at 19:36, but maybe even more importantly, if I had 39:36 at that point, so 4:53 over that sector, I’d have set 5:53 as ideal target for the next, since at that point I aimed to finish the three laps in less than 45:30, and then I know I had 1:53 as target for the final sector, since I just meant to get under 47:15, thinking I was too exhausted to do more than that, so all those times including 53 seconds in a row could have easily gotten confused in my exhausted mind.
Either way, it was past 4:10 PM when I went out, thinking that I couldn’t wait longer even though the wind was supposed to become less of a problem after 6 PM, since it was going to get even more crowded. And there were indeed plenty of people getting in the way, requiring me to weave around and briefly slow down to wait for an opening. Even did a few silly dances, including one with a girl on rollerskates who came towards me with a fair bit of speed, and there was a moment with another girl on rollerskates, on sector one of lap three, when she turned to look before turning but still did, right into my path, probably because she had already committed to it and her momentum carried her that way, unable to stop in time. And then there was that moment on the final sector when a child threw a ball in the air just as I was going around him and I just managed to have a quick enough reflex to punch it away from my face. No idea where it went, but that wasn’t my problem. But that wind I already mentioned was quite a problem in some areas, requiring me to turn my head a little and hold on to my cap, and at the worst moment, which was actually close to the end, on sector three of lap three, I found myself needing to sort of shield my face and struggle to advance against a particularly powerful, though fortunately brief, gust. And all of that came after volunteering at the Botanical Garden the day before, which meant that a few muscles and joints still hurt a bit as I started to run, so I thought it’ll be hard and just aimed for a normal time, under 48:30, at first, thinking I’ll need to push like crazy to manage even that. But those muscles and joints didn’t bother me while running, and pushing like crazy led to that result. My nose was really irritated after it though, and remained so even the next day, so until Wednesday it felt like I had a bad cold.

Moving on, burned bread by putting it in the microwave two more times, the first after setting it to about a minute and a half more after the looser slices were still soft after three minutes and ending up with the slices that were piled up burning during that time. The second time I burned far less, but it was after just setting it to three minutes, I guess because it was a different kind of bread, bought from Carrefour. However, the potentially dangerous moment was Tuesday and had to do with tea, as I tend to leave the water to boil as I go to the toilet and normally time things well enough to get back around the time it starts, so even if I fill the teapot all the way to the top, since it holds less than one liter even so, I’m there in case it spills over. But I had spent a couple of minutes washing something then, and then took a newspaper with me and meant to finish an article after I was otherwise done, so when I got back to the kitchen the fire was out and the gas still on. But the other windows were already open, so I just quickly turned the gas off, opened the kitchen window as well, waited a while, then first used the electric lighter for the stove next to the window, then got closer and turned the stove back on. After that, lit a candle and carefully carried it around, also climbing on things and putting it close to the ceiling while trying to keep my head down, in case any pockets had formed and drifted up. There didn’t seem to be a real risk, wouldn’t have done it if there was, but I wanted to make sure.

Getting back to the beginning of the period covered by this post, and since I mentioned the power failure in the previous personal post, it seems that whatever caused that outage that night required a longer one in another area the following day to properly fix. When I called, the area specified seemed to be past the address of the network I’m in, but I guess it affected them as well, since the announcement said the power will be out there between 9 AM and 5 PM and it was a few minutes after 5 PM when Internet access was restored for good. Saw in the logs that I first lost Internet access at 8:10 AM, but only for a couple of minutes, then it failed again at 9:15 AM, for almost 40 minutes, and then from 11:35 AM, only first recovering at 3:15 PM, only for some 15 minutes, then again at 4:20 PM, for a similar or slightly shorter amount of time, and then recovering for good another half an hour or so later.

Then come the little things, starting with March 16, when I woke up early, likely because of the noise dad made. Waited for a while and might have briefly drifted off again during that time, but was up by 10:30 AM, though it was 1 PM when I left. Took the recyclables to drop off on the way, checked prices at Carrefour, and got a few things from Kaufland, also finding several coins there, including a 0.50 RON one right when exiting, past the checkout. Left my purchases in a cabinet at Kaufland, to avoid more possible problems with those at Carrefour, which had been full when I looked anyway, and got back to Carrefour for a few more things, including getting bread from there this time. Saw a price label with a good price for the pack of yogurt I’d have wanted, but there were none left on the shelf. Then got back to Kaufland to get my stuff and came back around 3:30 PM. Tried to nap after putting everything in its place, but despite being sleepy I just wasted over one hour in bed without being able to sleep.

On March 19 I slept badly again, waking up to pee at 6:30 AM and tossing and turning until I finally managed to fall asleep again at some point after 8 AM, then waking up again because of the noise made by dad, once again possibly briefly drifting off as I waited but definitely being awake again, quite fully, soon after. Got up then, and rushed to grab something to eat and get ready to leave, just managing to be out at 11:40 AM. Was worried I’ll miss the free bus to Auchan, but it was five minutes late, so it was fine. But I first just checked prices there, finding that pack of yogurt more expensive than the price on that label I had seen at Carrefour and therefore deciding to leave it for another time, and also seeing that the recycling machine was again not working. Then walked to the Supeco which had just opened nearby, got a few things from there, walked back to Auchan, and went back in to get the spinach dad had asked me to get, since it was cheaper there, and some more bread for me. Think the machine gave me 0.20 RON more as change, since I’m quite sure there were no coins left in the tray before, to say that those were the extra ones. Either way, was out in time for the 1:50 PM free bus, dropped stuff off, left again at 3 PM, checked prices at Carrefour, still couldn’t find that yogurt I had seen the label for the previous time, got a few things from Kaufland, got back to Carrefour for just one thing, just keeping the stuff from Kaufland in the bag I had with me, since everything had Kaufland labels and either way nobody said anything, and got back here to drop stuff off yet again.
I wasn’t done though, so left yet again after that, at just about 5 PM. On the way to the other Carrefour, went in that pharmacy to look for toothpaste, not finding the kind I wanted, and also passed through the farmers’ market. After not finding that pack of yogurt at the other Carrefour either but getting a couple of other things, I got back to the market and got a few things. When I got the lettuce I noticed I had lost a plastic bag again, but that probably happened when checking out at Carrefour, when I was startled to be asked if I wanted a bag. Had headphones on, quickly pulled a bag out of my pocket to show that I had bags if I wanted them, but didn’t put those things in it, putting them in my jacket’s inside pocket instead, so it’s possible that I was too startled to keep track of everything anymore and just dropped the bag and forgot about it.
Either way, after wandering around the market I went back to the woman who had called after me to say that her radishes were 1 RON per bunch, finding her gathering her things and getting ready to leave. So got two bunches quickly, then saw green onions too and when I asked she said those were 2 RON per bunch, which seemed a bit much, several others selling similar bunches for 1.5 RON and noticeably bigger ones for 2 RON, but said might as well get it over with and get one. Should have probably haggled though, especially since she was just about to leave and I had given her a 5 RON bill, so if I’d have asked for two bunches for 3 RON, meaning that she wouldn’t have had to give me any change either, I think she’d have agreed, but of course I didn’t. Still, that meant I used that 1 RON left for one kilogram of apples, since I saw a lot of good enough apples at very low prices, those I got being even cheaper than the ones I got from Supeco, so felt a bit bad about getting those. But what was done was done, and I was finally back at 6:30 PM. Was a bit worried when something snapped in my left knee when I was making salad at night, rather hurting for a while and still bothering me even after I finished eating, but it seemed fine eventually.

On March 22 I wanted to take back those movies I had taken from the Library and then had a route planned, forgetting about ski jumping but remembering before I left and deciding to still go, only setting it to record, so I’ll see all of it later, albeit at low quality. Left at 3:15 PM and first went to that location of the Library where there were issues last time, and this time when I placed the DVD on the desk on the side that was closer to the entrance, the woman who was there held her other hand up, on the other side of her monitor, and told me in a voice that was somewhere between bored and annoyed to hand it to her on that side. Seriously, what the fuck? Then she asked for my pass as well, but I wasn’t sure I heard right and dismissed it as she said goodbye to another woman, probably a coworker, since at other locations they didn’t ask for my pass when returning things. So she asked again when I meant to leave, again sounding irritated, and I did point out that at other locations they don’t ask when I handed it over. At the second location, however, it all went smoothly once again, though I did give my pass too right away. The only thing was that a guy who was there and on the computer, quickly getting up to let the older woman working there do what she had to do to register the fact that I returned that DVD, read the name of the movie out loud and asked who wrote it, and then, after I said that it wasn’t written but a movie, he asked whether it was SF. But I just said it was a sort of fantasy and walked away as he took it to look over it.
From there, I went to the Carrefour from that area, that being the first stop on what would have been a long planned route, meant to check out various locations. But, quite surprisingly, found everything I wanted there, at good prices. Still not that pack of yogurt I was looking for, but heavily discounted yogurt that was expiring soon, so I could get four to have for the following days. Also found cat food at a good price and including the kind Rocky apparently likes, and since those we have here still had some of that type, I got some for him instead, for dad to take there. And also found the other thing dad wanted, their store brand instead of Kaufland’s, which is what I usually get for him when he wants more, but at the same price and seeming to be pretty much the exact same thing, and also produced in Romania instead of imported. The issue was that when I put it all together I found that the change I had seemed to be 0.01 RON short, so if I didn’t find a coin I’d have likely needed to break a large bill. Oddly enough, after looking around a bit and finding a 0.05 RON coin, I counted the change again and found that I actually had enough even in the first place, yet had somehow miscounted no less than three times before that. Either way, since I didn’t need to go anywhere else, I came right back after that, so I thought I’d be out until late in the evening and yet was back at 5:30 PM.

The next day, on my way back from that protest that unfortunately wasn’t actually a protest, I stopped at the Carrefour at Unirii as well, and for the first time noticed that it continues upstairs as well. Whether that was always the case or they expanded that store at some point, I have no idea, and I only happened to go there a few times anyway. Not that I bought anything then either, but had a look around, and was eventually back at 4:45 PM. Tried to take a nap in the evening, but spent about an hour and a half in bed and didn’t sleep at all. Probably would have, but one of dad’s phones beeped, probably because he got a message, just as I was drifting off. That woke me up completely and there was to chance to fall asleep after that.

As for March 27, wanted to check various Carrefours for expiring stuff first, starting with that one from Obor, where I had found everything I had been looking for and had seen many such things five days before. Was thinking I could also go to Auchan later, and perhaps also visit another location of the Library to pick up a few more movies, now that I got started. But as I was here at the computer, playing Lords of Xulima, dad asked whether I was awake and when I came out he asked whether I’ll go to the Library again. When I said I could go, he asked for a particular book, mentioning that he didn’t need it right away, but I checked where it was available and decided to go there, though it was a location I hadn’t been to before and not on my planned route. I had his metro card that day, and the site said they had The Martian at that location too, so I could strike something off my list as well anyway.
It was 4:20 PM when I left, taking out the paper to drop off as well, then went to Obor, accidentally went out of the metro station through another exit but that meant that instead of going to that Carrefour first, I went around, first checking out a Mega Image on the way and then the Kaufland from that area as well, which I had meant to do anyway, since I had never been to that one. Didn’t get anything from those, so got to that Carrefour after that and again saw a whole lot of things that were deeply discounted due to expiring soon, an employee struggling to find room to add more. So I got some better yogurt, again four of them despite the fact that they expire today, since they should still be good for a bit longer. As I was trying to decide how many to get, I also saw that the discounted price which I later saw should have applied as of yesterday had already applied at that location for some tofu, so I grabbed one of those too, then got back to the area with the expiring stuff and got one more thing. And that again meant that I got everything I had meant to get. Or not exactly what I had meant to get when I left, but enough to not need anything until Monday, and I was just about out of money anyway.
After that, went to that location of the Library. Left my pass on the desk as soon as I went in, to avoid any more issues, and started looking for the book dad wanted, in the section I thought it’d be in. It was a small section and I thought I’d find it quickly, but I didn’t, so I eventually asked the person working there and she told me it would be somewhere else, leading me there and pointing it out. She didn’t also get it for me though, and it was on one of the top shelves, but the ladder was right there and she had also pointed it out when I looked around, so I picked up the book as she went back to the desk and dropped it on her desk on my way to look through the movies. Did get a bit worried when I didn’t see my pass on the desk anymore when I placed the DVD there as well, and since there had been another one there when I had put it there, I was worried the other person might have taken it, even more so when she said she thought I had taken it back and told me to look. But I showed her I didn’t have it in the notebook I had kept it in and then tried to look on her desk as well, only to quickly be told not to do that and just look through my things. But, of course, there was no reason to look through my things, because I knew I didn’t take it, so I gave her the number and she checked out the stuff that way, then was saying that she’ll set it aside if she’ll find it, but I said I kind of need it and she looked again, and again told me to not look on her desk when I tried to do so as well. Still, at least she found it that time, so everything was fine and I could walk back, since it’d have probably taken me longer to get back to the metro station and then come back from there that way. Was back at 6:50 PM, really needing to pee. Had needed to pretty much since leaving that Carrefour.

Written by Cavalary on March 29, 2019 at 11:57 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Copyright Directive Approved; Fight Continues

Well, shit. The European Parliament approved the Copyright Directive in full. Despite all the efforts, the result of the vote was a pretty comfortable 348 to 274, with 36 abstentions. However, the proposal to open the text for amendments, which could have led to the removal of articles 11 and 13, or 15 and 17 in the final text, failed by a mere five votes, so I am tempted to say “this is on you” to anyone who claims to care as much as a whit and didn’t at least write their MEPs these days.
Still, as the EFF article points out, this isn’t over. The final text now also needs to be approved by a majority of member states in the European Council, so while such a majority currently exists there is at least a chance that it may still get rejected. And even if it is approved, it won’t have direct effects, but instead each member state must transpose the Directive into its legislation, and all the unclear or insufficiently defined elements pretty much guarantee that any form that will be adopted will lead to lengthy court battles. Rightsholders definitely have the upper hand there, and they will use this to push for the strictest interpretation and frighten everyone else into submission, but the fight’s still on and we must stand together and push back with everything we have. If we are to still have any functional Internet to speak of, access to information or the right to free expression, failure is not an option!

Written by Cavalary on March 26, 2019 at 6:14 PM in IT & Copyright | 0 Comments

Last Days to Fight the European Union’s Plan to Destroy the Internet

Kept thinking that there should be a blackout as part of this final action week, but didn’t stumble upon such an announcement until Wednesday evening, at which point I just quickly threw something together and uploaded it directly, as announcing it just before doing it would have served no purpose. So I’m posting this quick call to action now, after the end of the blackout and before Saturday’s protests, for which there seem to be two lists.
There’s probably no need to explain again how serious the situation is and why, or at least I hope there’s no need, but just in case anyone wants another thorough explainer, there’s one put together by the EFF. That focuses on Article 13, which is the one that most actions mainly focus on, and Article 11, those two being set to pretty much destroy the Internet as we know it, worsen current troubling trends and end even the hope of the situation improving in the future. However, I’m also seeing some information for authors about the harmful effects of Article 12, so if you are one, you may want to take a look there as well. Note that the articles have now been renumbered, so the numbers listed here refer to the article numbers as they were before these recent changes, but in the final text Article 11 became Article 15, Article 12 became Article 16 and Article 13 became Article 17.
With the vote set to take place on March 26, these are the last days when we may still push back, so if there’s any way to do so, take part in one of Saturday’s protests, so our opposition will also be visible in the streets. Otherwise, have a look at the petition if you haven’t already, but far more important right now is to reach out to your MEPs and demand that they vote against the proposals, even ask them to pledge to oppose them, and then, of course, make sure to vote in the elections for the European Parliament, in May, letting candidates know that you will not vote for any who do not pledge to oppose this and any similar measures which are or may be proposed. These are the final days and we need everyone to fight back!

Written by Cavalary on March 22, 2019 at 3:42 AM in IT & Copyright | 0 Comments