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Long Walks and Regions of Ruin

Since this is the last personal post I can post at the moment while still sticking to the one remaining rule, I’ll have to put everything in it now and then maybe finally get around to throw that quick review for Eschalon here as the week’s second post. Could have gone to the book fair today instead of yesterday, instead of sitting here trying to write this, and could have even used dad’s metro card in this case, since he got back not long after I woke up anyway, but Tuesday the forecast listed storms starting Thursday afternoon, and even before I went to bed this morning it still listed them in the evening, yet it was only stormy last night, while today it was just sunny. But at least this way I can post this now and include everything in it.

To start with yesterday, with just over ten kilometers to walk to the book fair and it closing at 8 PM on that first day, as well as today and Sunday for that matter, I meant to leave no later than at 4 PM, yet it was 4:06 PM when I finally rushed out the door, actually taking my watch too, to make it easier to check the time on the way, since I had one more reason to really want to get there before 6 PM, the president launching his new book there at 6 PM, which made me think it might be somewhat harder to get in and wander around if I’ll arrive while he’ll be there. But I managed that well enough, getting in at 5:44 PM, and in fact he was late, walking in at 6:08 PM… Just when I was back at that entrance, after having taken my time glancing at that area, just to get back on the other side of that first group after 6 PM. And it was just that place in front of that entrance, on the side I had returned on, that had some stuff I could have been interested in, so I saw that, meant to start checking out what they had on the outside first, but then noticed all the cameras and reporters at the entrance and realized what was happening. Still tried to get behind them and have a look, but just then they all stepped back and I darted behind that partition, on which that store seemed to just have CDs and DVDs anyway, so not what I’d have been interested in. As a result, I was just starting to look at the books when the president and the others who were with him walked past.
After I finished looking, I marked the place on the map of the fair which I had taken at the entrance and decided to return there at the end, since I was sort of considering something, but on top of the fact that I really shouldn’t spend anything on anything not absolutely necessary now, a bug had been squashed with the single copy that was on display. Then I pretty much just wandered around, just looking at things despite obviously having no interest, and covering about a third of the area before I decided to head straight for the area at the other end, where most of the small stands are, since those tend to close early, and I did indeed see three or so already closed, with nobody there anymore, when I reached them, a few minutes after 7 PM, a few others putting things away and getting ready to close as well. However, it was in that area that I found a second point of interest, a store selling used books in English that actually took up a larger space than the others around it. Nothing particularly interesting there at that time, but I could have considered a few titles and the prices were good, so I marked that place on the map as well. Then continued the other way, to cover the remaining area, finding another potentially interesting place but it wasn’t even enough to mark it on the map, then getting to the place where the president had launched his book well after the event had ended and finding it quite deserted, and then needing to rush through the remaining area, in fact including some of the biggest publishers, since it was getting late. But, of course, I’d have no interest in what those publish anyway, so I just got back to that first store’s area at 7:50 PM, had another look, decided against getting anything and was out at 7:55 PM.
Didn’t care to push myself so hard on the way back, and also spent a couple of minutes at the toilet at the exit of Herastrau Park, first waiting for it to finish the cleaning cycle after the previous person and then just going in to wash my hands, since they felt rather sticky for some reason. So I was back at 9:45 PM, after over 20 km walked there and back, and probably around 25 in total, counting all that wandering around inside… And then, while making a salad, I “managed” to cut my finger in the top of the salt shaker as I was trying to unscrew it, and it’s actually quite a cut. But, either way, ate and then also showered at night, before going to bed.

That long walk was actually right after another one I took the day before, when I also again noticed no visits recorded, in either view. Woke up around 11 AM then and at first meant to try to get back to sleep, but the noise from the HDD got my attention, decided to go to the toilet too, also put some meat left by dad in the kitchen on a plate, since blood was pooling under it, then since I heard those noises again I decided to check what was going on. Not that I figured anything out, but since I’m seeing a pretty clear pattern, looking at the HDD LED, I’m thinking it’s possible that it has to do with G DATA Antivirus, since ever since installing it there are frequent moments when the computer seems too busy to respond for a couple of seconds, and I noticed a spike in CPU use from one of its processes for no obvious reason when I happened to have Task Manager open at one point. It’s hard to check everything at once and at the right time to confirm it, but at the moment that seems most likely, so I’m trying not to worry about it. I’ll be getting rid of this when the trial expires anyway, since it’s not a good enough option this time around either, and I’ll see what happens then.
Getting back to that morning, since I was at the computer, I decided to install and start Regions of Ruin, which I had actually asked for after seeing it among the available games on the Community Giveaway on the GOG.com forum on May 26. Received the code that evening as well, before midnight, but it was well after midnight when I redeemed it, so I’ll say I actually got it on May 27, and I’m actually playing it a bit. Meant to read the first of those Romanian books this week, and have the quick review for it as the week’s second post, but guess I’ll be using that time, and likely more, to play this instead.
Either way, eventually decided to give sleep another chance and got back in bed at 12:35 PM, only managing to nap a bit before finally getting up at 2 PM. Then, around 3:55 PM, I went out for the second attempt to get that failed LED tube back to the store, taking the plastic out as well. And this time around I did get there well enough, at 5:15 PM, without getting lost again, and the matter was sorted out very quickly and simply. I mean, I obviously had the receipt with me and expected them to take it and tell me I should come back some time later, or at best that they’ll send a replacement some time later, but instead they replaced it on the spot and didn’t even look at the receipt. I went in, said I had a problem and was searching for the word to describe what happened to the tube when the guy who was there helpfully asked whether it had “deceased”, saying that it happens when I confirmed it. Then one of the women just took it away and a bit later just came back with another. Did hear the guy say that it was less than 10 RON, and indeed I saw that it was on sale for 9.50 RON ($2.23 or €2.00) at the time, but I wasn’t really listening to what they were saying to each other, so I’m not sure what he was replying to. So I was quite surprised, asked whether that was it, then just thanked them and came back, getting here just before 6:45 PM. And yes, it works just fine. Would sure be nice if all warranty problems would be handled like that… But, speaking of that, I still dread the prospect of needing to take my mouse to be fixed, since Saturday there were obvious double clicks on the middle button again. Really comes and goes though, so I’m still waiting at the moment.

I mentioned above that it was the second attempt to take that LED tube there because the first had been last Thursday and that went badly. After all, the rule is that the shortest route is the one you know, but I saw that I could walk about one kilometer less if I got off the metro three stops later and decided to try that, even if the amount of time the train needed to cover that distance meant that I’ll actually gain very little time, and the fact that doing so required taking one train instead of either of the two meant that I could even end up losing time, if I’d have had to wait for it. So I got off at that stop, but didn’t realize that it had three exits, two of them on the side I needed to walk out on, and the one I actually needed to use was hidden behind something when I looked around, so I used the other and after that it was obvious that my mental map could no longer apply, and by the time I finally got back there and saw which exit I should have taken, it was 5:25 PM and too late.
I left at 3:50 PM, taking out the plastic and metal, and since after reaching that station I didn’t see that other exit or the map, which was also hidden behind something, I just went straight out… And in the wrong direction. I mean, in what would have been the wrong direction if I’d have used the right exit, but as it was it actually would have allowed me to go the right way if I’d have realized it. However, when I noticed that I reached the exit from the other side, I realized I was going in the wrong direction and turned around on the spot, while if I’d have turned left I’d have ended up going the right way, only losing a few minutes. As it was, I just kept going until I finally reached a major intersection, which definitely seemed to be the one close to that bigger Carrefour, but I just ignored what I was seeing and kept following my mental map, getting a bit lost on the streets that I ended up on and eventually returning to confirm that I had indeed reached that intersection, and the metro station that’s there. I tried to check a map on my phone but obviously couldn’t get any to load, looked for signs but saw none that made sense, went to that metro station to look for a map of the city but there was none, and then, instead of taking the metro from there and getting back to cut my losses, I decided to walk back to the metro station I had gotten off at in the first place, to try to figure out what was really happening. And that did help, as otherwise I wouldn’t have known what to do Tuesday.
What made things worse was that we still had no hot water, and I hadn’t showered after running, two days earlier, either, since that’s when it had been turned off, so I felt just soiled and said I’ll heat some while eating that night and wash that way if it won’t get back by then. However, in part because the pressure had returned as I ate and the site stated that it was “starting up”, and in part because my mother pissed me off by throwing out some glass jars and bottles which I was actually still trying to persuade myself to try to offer to someone, and which are either way among the things I just want to dispose of myself and in a particular way, just because I want to, and I didn’t feel like going through all that trouble anyway as a result, I decided to give up on that idea, hoping I’ll find hot water when I’ll wake up, possibly just to pee, and be able to shower properly then… Which still wasn’t the case. What we got, and paid, as hot water that following day was just a few degrees above the cold one, probably due to the pipes being insulated, but I nevertheless used it to quickly wash below the waist, my underarms and arms… Only to see that the problem was finally sorted out a few hours later. Didn’t wash again then though, instead doing so the next day.

Since I mentioned last week’s run, this week’s was Monday, and the time was 47:53, with sector times of 4:18, 4:55, 5:43, 4:24, 4:58, 5:55, 4:35, 5:13, 6:07 and 1:45, making for lap times of 14:56, 15:17 and 15:55. And since I have the exact times I saw as well, those were 47:53.27, with sector times of 4:18.13, 4:55.01, 5:43.68, 4:23.59, 4:58.22, 5:55.12, 4:34.56, 5:13.53, 6:06.43 and actually 1:45.00, making for lap times of 14:56.82, 15:16.93 and 15:54.52. That was an awful lap three, but to stay under 48 minutes when I pretty much just decided on the spot to run, unprepared and after having barely slept the previous day, I’ll take it. I mean, had just eaten an apple and something sweet, not the usual stuff I eat before a run, not even the tea I drank was what I tend to make when I run, but with dad saying he’ll only be able to give me his metro card, to take that LED tube to the store, the next day, the book fair starting Wednesday and storms supposed to start today, it seemed to be the only chance, so I decided on the toilet, when it was already past 4 PM, to go then, being out the door at 4:40 PM. Expected worse wind and more people, but there were just a few places where the wind was something of an issue, mainly on lap two and the first part of lap three, and there weren’t that many people either.

As for Sunday, with dad supposed to get back a bit before 7 AM and my mother still here at the time and, as usual, not sleeping, she was saying they’ll go vote right then, at 7 AM, as soon as the stations open… And while I somehow didn’t wake up when he came in, I did wake up when they left, and then they got back after a bit, he left again, I guess to buy something, she did something in the kitchen, then he got back and he was in the kitchen for a while, and by the time they both went to their rooms and it got quiet, it was after 8 AM and I hadn’t been able to get back to sleep. Wondered whether I should stay in bed and keep trying to sleep, but that seemed like just a waste of time at the moment, so by 8:30 AM I was up, took those bottles and cans I just came back with after finding what I needed and turning around before reaching Auchan a month earlier and a part of the others which had gathered since then, and left for Auchan a few minutes before 9 AM, also taking out some old magazines and a couple of cardboard boxes my mother had set aside.
Walked, and was there at 9:35 AM, but somebody was using the recycling machine, which at least was working. However, she had a lot of stuff and filled it, so she then had to call someone to empty it and wait, and after having waited around the corner until then, inside, at that point I went around, going out through another exit and returning to wait in a spot from where I could keep an eye on that spot without standing there behind her, to know when my turn will come, which only happened at 10:05 AM. Not that those machines give even what little they used to give, considering those changes in legislation, the discount received now dropping from 0.05 RON per bottle and 0.03 RON per can, as it used to be at Auchan, though elsewhere it seemed to be 0.04 RON each, to just 0.02 RON each.
Either way, just got some bread for these days, seeing that they had increased the price for that yet again, from 6 RON / kg to 6.80 RON / kg, then got back with the 10:55 AM free bus, and after dropping off the bread I took the rest of the paper out and went to vote as well, getting there at 11:20 AM and being back out just before 11:40 AM. It was odd to see a line, and just when I was getting there an older man told others he met at the gate that there was quite a line inside and he’ll try again later, and they turned around and left as well, and as I was waiting an older woman said she won’t wait like that and also left, but I just had to wait for some 15 minutes, so I definitely don’t see why that’d be a problem. It’s not like it was what some of those living abroad had to go through, with some even waiting for ten hours only to be sent away at the end of the day…

Written by Cavalary on May 30, 2019 at 10:20 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Two Runs, (Possibly) Two Protests, Testing G DATA Again

The first time I timed my squats again after running the half marathon was on May 18, 2:31, and it was 2:33 on May 20, while on May 19 there was a replay just when I finished and I had to estimate, but it should have been about 2:31 again, give or take a second. But the first run after the race was on May 17, since I didn’t deserve to take a week off, and the time was 48:16, with sector times of 4:17, 5:00, 5:48, 4:27, 5:06, 6:02, 4:34, 5:06, 6:04 and 1:52, making for lap times of 15:05, 15:35 and 15:44. As for this week’s run, that was yesterday, the time being 47:41, with sector times of 4:21, 4:57, 5:40, 4:27, 4:59, 5:51, 4:33, 5:04, 5:53 and 1:56, making for lap times of 14:58, 15:17 and 15:30. And since I again have all exact times as well, last week they were 48:16.35, with sector times of 4:17.52, 4:59.61, 5:48.18, 4:27.05, 5:06.05, 6:01.62, 4:34.03, 5:06.15, 6:04.44 and 1:51.70, making for lap times of 15:05.31, 15:34.72 and 15:44.62, while this week they were 47:41.55, with sector times of 4:21.18, 4:57.33, 5:40.35, 4:26.93, 4:58.55, 5:51.44, 4:32.83, 5:04.23, 5:52.98 and 1:55.73, making for lap times of 14:58.86, 15:16.92 and 15:30.04.
It was hard to find a window to run last week, between the rain and wind, but when I went to bed Friday morning the forecast had that day’s storm ending at 4 PM. However, when I woke up it said it’ll be between 3:30 PM and 7 PM, so I meant to try to go before it’ll start… Yet it started earlier, the storm itself not lasting long but rain starting again before I got ready, so I only went out around 6:40 PM, wearing the running t-shirt and undershirt but the regular shoes, since it was wet and there were puddles to go around, and some mud and leaves in some places too. Saw someone wearing the t-shirt from this year’s half marathon heading out of the park as I was going in and thought I actually recognized him from the race, and then on sector two of lap two there were two others wearing that t-shirt and running in the same direction, first a woman that I overtook easily and then a man who overtook me just as easily. There weren’t many people otherwise, but the puddles caused some problems, as a single person could be enough to block the way, or at least the better way, around one. There was also a bit of a silly dance with a cyclist on that same sector two of lap two, as he and a runner were coming towards me, the runner being faster and about to overtake him on his left, so I went to my left, his right, but he went the same way and even said “right”, which prompted me to ask whose right as I made my way around. Leg muscles felt like they were just barely holding off cramps from the beginning and even more of them ended up unhappy as I ran, had a few warnings from my right knee as well, and liver started hurting quite a bit from lap two, I think from that same sector two, and only started getting better on sector two of lap three. Also noticed what looks like quite a bloody blister on my left big toe after I got back.
Yesterday I meant to wake at most at noon and go out to run at most at 1:45 PM, but kept waking, and when I saw almost 11 AM I said I might as well get up. It still was 1:30 PM when I went out though, since I took it easy, and it was odd to see that one of the lights in the bathroom no longer worked when I went there just before leaving, since it had worked earlier. Dad said it just turned off as he was brushing his teeth, and today I confirmed that just that LED tube no longer works, so I’ll have to take it back, since I do have a three-year warranty on them after all and they were purchased less than a year ago. But to return to the run, it was really windy, yet the forecast said it won’t get any better these days, and as of Friday it’ll rain again too, so I went then, even though there were places where I felt like I could barely advance against the wind. I think lap two’s first sector was the worst from this point of view, but there were a few different places on the first sector, as well as areas mainly towards the end of sectors two and three, which were a problem on each lap, so I did a fair bit better than I thought I would. And there were a few more seconds to be found, since I really lost focus on the last sector. Unfortunately, also noticed that my right foot really damages my shoes, obviously being a bit smaller than my left and rubbing against the back, and I could spot tears starting to form in two places inside the right running shoe, even though I only purchased them last August.

Got back from yesterday’s run at 2:45 PM, but went right back out to buy one little expiring thing from the supermarket across the road, getting back at 2:55 PM… And leaving again just over half an hour later. Would have probably been exactly half an hour later, but dad asked me to take a few pictures of him, since he had to send some somewhere. Either way, meant to attend a protest organized by an NGO as the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment was taking place in Bucharest, at the Palace of Parliament, and I walked there and back. The protest was intended to draw attention to the clearing of Romania’s forests and demand their protection to be placed high on the agenda, and it actually started Sunday, with what was the main event, a street artist painting a giant deer head and other participants adding their own drawings and messages in the area, people being asked to also come Monday and Tuesday in order to maintain a visible presence during the meeting itself. If Monday’s schedule was morning to evening, Tuesday there was a break between the morning and afternoon hours, so it was for this last “session”, set to take place between 4 PM and 7 PM, that I went, since I hadn’t attended any of the others.
I was somehow left with the idea that the location was Constitution Square, so I went there first, then got to the actual location, the entrance of Izvor Park that’s across the road from the Palace of Parliament, at 4:30 PM. However, while I saw something about over one hundred people attending Sunday and a few pictures showing at least a few, and a large banner, Monday as well, I can’t say I saw anyone then. After having a first look, did go to the toilet that’s quite across the park, having to wait for someone else too and getting back some 15 minutes later, but then I sat on a bench until 5:10 PM and then took pictures of the drawings and messages, which I actually only then noticed extended on the sidewalk way past that entrance area, until 5:30 PM, when I left, and during that time there really didn’t seem to be anyone else around who was there for that reason, or at least certainly no more than one person, since there was one woman sitting close to the entrance and talking on the phone. I guess it is possible that at least a few people arrived after 6 PM, and I would have stayed longer if I’d have brought a book, which I actually thought of doing, but since I didn’t, it was already becoming awkward, not to mention a waste of time, as even so I only got back at 6:45 PM… And still haven’t showered, after running and spending those additional hours outside, since there’s no hot water again as of yesterday. But at least I saw the street art, as the authorities, after first demanding it to be cleaned up after the protest, eventually agreed to allow it to remain until the elements will erase it.

The protest that I actually did attend was Sunday’s march for parks and green spaces in this sector. As I mentioned before, when another protest took place there but I didn’t attend, the movement was triggered by a playground and other street furniture being cleared from a park which was also no longer listed as a green space where construction is not permitted, likely as a step towards granting the one who ended up being given ownership of the area a permit for a building to be built there. Those living nearby reacted immediately and they actually seem quite well organized, and that reaction is starting to show signs of evolving into a more active and visible movement for parks and green spaces in Bucharest’s Sector 3 in general, which that day took the form of this march, starting from there and ending at the Sector 3 city hall. Organizers seemed surprised at the turnout, but I counted about 130 people the second time we stopped, and about 120 the next time, a few perhaps giving up on the way, and those numbers didn’t seem surprising to me.
I set the alarm at 9 AM but woke up on my own at 8:58 AM, and after still not really knowing what to wear when I went to bed, the organizers asking for something green, I decided to keep the shirt and cap I normally wear these days but add two things received at races on my arms. One of them, from this year’s half marathon race kit but not worn then, had the name of a fossil fuel company on it, but I could quickly cover it with tape and, after also taking the newspapers and magazines which had gathered to drop off, still managed to be at the door around 10:05 AM, and there just before 10:30 AM, which was the announced start time. However, it was then that I realized that I hadn’t taken the camera, so had to make do with my phone. Still took quite a number of pictures, but the quality is poor as a result.
At first I heard the organizers say that they intended the march to start at 11 AM, but it only did at 11:30 AM. So I wandered around, received a badge, refused I think two bottles of water, and then sort of kept wandering around during the march as well, all the children and older people meaning that we moved slowly and stopped three times, two of the stops being part of the schedule and intended to display the signs and banners properly where they’ll be seen, but the third being added just so those who needed to could rest again, in the shade. We were finally reaching the destination at 1:10 PM and, after gathering for a few more pictures with the signs and banners, which were mainly provided by the organizers, those who wanted, mainly children, could again write with chalk on the pavement and also, I’d say much more appropriately, with markers on the blank part of the signs brought by the members of USR-PLUS who also attended. One of the best known activists when it comes to dealing with the city’s environmental problems also showed up around that time, surprising me by greeting me and asking how I was when he saw me next to him, then saying that he had another issue to deal with that morning and that was why he only managed to get there at the end. I eventually left just after 1:35 PM, when only a handful of people were still there, talking, after the signs and other materials had been gathered, but was only back one hour later, since I first went to that Kaufland and found plenty of discounted, expiring yogurt, one 400 g cup actually only expiring on May 25 and a whole crate of small ones expiring on May 23, so I bought enough for this period, and one more little thing.
Still on the topic of that march, however, I sort of meant to leave it out, this being a personal post, but now that I’m here and already mentioned them, I’ll add that quite a number of members of USR-PLUS were present. That included USR’s president at first, but after some complaints about having politicians there, I think mainly from one person, he left before we actually started the march. The rest, among which I recognized at least a senator and two members of the local council, didn’t seem targeted in the same manner and remained from start to end, forming their message out of those large signs whenever we stopped. Said signs did have their logo, but on the back, where there were pictures of parks from cities in other countries, and they only turned them over to show that side at one point at the first stop, to show them to the drone that was filming, and one point at the end, when they asked one or two photographers to take some pictures of them holding them like that, otherwise seeming to really try to avoid giving people reasons to say that this was a political event. Did see an USR-PLUS badge in someone’s chest at one point, before the march started, but that might have just been a supporter. There was also the fact that they had people distributing their campaign paper for this sector in the spot where the first stop was, but that doesn’t have to mean anything, as they tend to have people at that park’s entrances during campaigns, and for example another party had people handing out campaign materials when we passed in front of that mall from that area.

To return to May 17, it was actually someone doing a political survey who called and woke me up, and that time I answered. Oddly, in the part about how much you trust certain political figures, there were three names she asked whether I knew, saying she didn’t know them and that was why she was asking, and while I really didn’t know the last one at all, I had heard of the first two and, while that was just about all I could say about the first, I should have really known the second… And she should have known him even better, seeing as, on top of being quite well known as a politician, he seems to be the founder of the firm she said she worked for, so I wonder whether that was an attempt to trick me into not answering and avoid adding bad opinions about him. If it was, she was successful, since being asked like that made me fail to connect the name with the person just then.
Either way, there were two moments when she seemed to want to steer me towards giving answers in favor of PRO Romania, this time definitely failing, and otherwise seemed to agree with my hostile position towards PSD and my disappointment at the likely outcome of this week’s elections. And then, though I again felt like crap for having to lie about my “job”, in the sense of giving the answer written in the documents instead of saying I don’t have one, the education question made for an interesting exchange. She listed the options and just middle school wasn’t among them, so I said that it could be a bit tricky, since in my case it’s just that, and she assumed I was embarrassed by it, asking why was I ashamed, whether I thought that mattered, saying that one’s mind is what matters and we had a great conversation while there were people with multiple college degrees that she talked to that could barely put two words together, and then at the end again told me to not complain or feel bad about that, as if I did…

A bit later, while waiting for that storm to pass, I finally uninstalled Emsisoft Anti-Malware and installed the Windows updates, including last month’s, which I hadn’t installed until then. And then, when it started raining again, I downloaded the installer for G DATA Antivirus, which is the first one I decided to test now that I’m again looking for options, and tried to run it… Only to have it complain that there was a compatibility problem with some redistributables, which I tried to uninstall through it but it said it failed. So I closed it and uninstalled what I thought it was referring to, the Visual C++ 2012 which I figured out had been installed by Ember and therefore no longer needed, but when I tried to start it again after that it said changes to my system required a reboot, though I hadn’t been asked for one after uninstalling that. It also had a checkbox to allow it to reboot then, stating that if checked the setup will start again after the reboot, but I unchecked that, closed it again and rebooted manually… Only to have the setup try to start anyway, and for some reason fail to do so, leading to me starting it manually anyway.
Well, it still said that the redistributable in question was there, and it’s just now that I realize that it was right. Guess I’ll have to apologize for the couple of messages claiming otherwise sent to support, and I actually just took a break from writing this to do so, since I was convinced it was referring to that C++ redistributable, while I just now noticed an entry for Visual Studio 2012, so it’s possible that I misread what it was saying, multiple times, because this one is indeed signed by AVG, as that message stated, and was installed back when I tested that, fitting with what I was told by support, that such conflicts are caused by traces left after uninstalling other security products. So I guess it is possible that the fact that my computer became unresponsive at the end of the installation, after I decided to go through with it despite the warning, was indeed caused by a conflict with it… Though I still rather doubt that.
Either way, the installation seemed to have completed, or at least the progress bar filled completely, but then the part of the screen where that window was became first black, then white, and when I hit Alt+Tab I found a prompt from Comodo Firewall that was also not responding. So I guess a conflict with that is also possible, but the HIPS should allow everything, G DATA being a trusted vendor, and so far it did, and I had allowed it to connect while it was installing otherwise, and one’s connection may even fail, so it shouldn’t cause the computer to become unresponsive if it can no longer connect when it finishes installing. Yet after trying to switch back to the setup, I got the message that it had stopped working, and when I clicked to close it I got that dreaded little window saying Microsoft Windows is not responding. But the HDD activity was telling me a full system scan was taking place, so that could still happen even though everything else was blocked, this latter part being confirmed when I later saw computation errors for the SETI@home work units being processed at the time. As such, I waited for over one full hour, the different noises telling me it was progressing through the partitions in the expected order, yet my system didn’t recover after it seemed to have finished, and if until then I could at least still move the mouse, when I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del it froze completely, requiring a hard reset. The G DATA setup tried to start again after that, but I didn’t allow it, and it seemed to have installed and work. However, it said I had no valid license and couldn’t update, and there was no way to activate a trial license.
I’m thinking that activating a trial license is something you can do at the end of the installation process, after my system froze, so I never got to that point. And it took a while to get a reply to the e-mail I sent then asking what to do, since they seem to have no support over the weekend, but Monday morning I did get a trial code and entered it after midnight, thinking that I may get one more day if I do it like that. Interestingly, the guy who replied has a quite obviously Romanian name, but I sent the message to the English support address and I’m obviously sticking to English and so is he. That first reply, and the one after it, did seem quite canned, even if they were obviously written by a real person, but this one I just saw now seemed better, and they do come quickly, I guess except over the weekend, as it was just today that I replied to that second reply received Monday. I’m not happy with some of the things I’m told though, since I asked about some functions, so at this point it doesn’t look like it’s an option this time around either, despite the fact that there are still quite a few things I like about it, as it was four years ago as well. But we’ll see…

Written by Cavalary on May 22, 2019 at 11:12 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Before and After Bucharest Half Marathon 2019

Got woken up this morning by my UPS beeping due to a power failure, and since the power didn’t return in a couple of minutes I had to turn off the computer. Did call to see whether there was any information about the failure, but the only thing the machine had was for an entirely different part of the city and I of course didn’t wait to be transferred to an operator to ask, so I just got back in bed and woke up again about one hour later, hearing the faint hum letting me know that power had been restored. It did fail again about half an hour later, but only for about one minute, so ended up getting out of bed again, not having fallen asleep again yet, but didn’t have to turn the computer off again, and it seems like it was fine after that, and I could recover some of the sleep I lost yesterday. On the other hand, quite a storm started just as I was starting to write this, at 7 PM, though it didn’t seem to cause problems after all. The threat of storm wasn’t why I didn’t go to a protest I initially intended to go to today though, since that was during the day. In truth, I was exhausted after sleeping so little yesterday and even completely forgot about it when I did wake up, though by then it was probably late anyway.

But this post won’t be about these days, but about what the title says, I guess ending with May 16, since all I have to say about that day is that there were no visits logged again, in either view, and I guess I tore a scab, possibly caused by sunburn, from this mole on my nose and there was a fair bit of blood which took a while to stop, while about May 17 there’d be a lot to write. And it’ll start with May 9, when I made the pasta I meant to have for dinner Saturday, which took a long time even for me. The fact that there was no hot water that day, or the next for that matter, didn’t help either, having to wash everything, including all the stuff left by dad in and around the sink, with cold water. Took me quite some time to clean up the mushrooms too, which looked and smelled somewhat suspicious, but I guess they were fine in the end, and I ate a whole lot of that pasta and salad that night, to do the same thing I planned to do Saturday.

Slept poorly that morning, waking up to pee three times after drinking a second tea at night, also waking when dad got back… On top of that, when I eventually got up my gum was swollen in a spot where it occasionally happens, but it usually goes down quite quickly, while then it needed a full day to more or less get back to normal. Still, had to get the race kit, so I went out at 12:50 PM, after the rain had stopped. Used the toilet in Izvor Park to wash my hands after getting there after feeling something sticky on the bar I held on to in the metro, then it was easy and didn’t take long at all to get the kit this time around, so I was back in the metro at 2 PM. However, it was I think after 6 PM when I realized that a kind of yogurt was included in the race kit and I put it in the fridge, not daring to eat it until the following week as a result, since I didn’t even know how long it had been in the bag before being given to me and I didn’t want to risk anything then.
Getting back a bit, since the rain hadn’t started again yet, I decided to check out that pizza place that I used to get pizza from before last year, since they no longer have a menu on-line, and it was a bit odd when I walked in, because I was immediately asked whether I was first from one place, the another. Can’t say I really caught the names, but I guess they could have been either reviewers or, perhaps more likely, considering how I look, some of those making deliveries. But I just said I wasn’t, then found a menu on a table and had a look, to see whether they could still be an option for Sunday, finding that their prices had increased by a lot, and also noticing that they had removed one ingredient from the pizza I would have likely been most interested in ordering if I would have ordered one after the race. Still, they’d have likely remained an option if I’d have managed to obtain the time I aimed for, but since I didn’t
After getting back to the metro, I once again bumped into a guy I knew from protests, mainly those about Rosia Montana back in the day. Had bumped into him twice more recently, around that mall that’s close to the farmers’ market, but we just nodded at each other in passing then, yet this time we were next to each other and waiting for the train, so we started talking, with him saying that he was actually wondering whether he’ll see me again because it seemed we were bumping into each other every time he went out those days. We got off at the same stop too, so just taking the metro for one stop, but then went in different directions, though I guess he actually went in the direction I used to head in as well, until I started getting back here another way more recently, meaning that I could have continued to walk with him. But I was glad I didn’t, since I was already drenched in sweat due to this sort of interaction.
Either way, that evening I also finished the book and rushed with the quick review, posting something just before midnight and editing it after that. Had tears in my eyes because of it, though of course I still couldn’t cry, Rice writing as Lestat really feeling, as I wrote there, as perhaps the closest to a literary equivalent of returning home… And also to a time and place when… When things were different. But, then again, I was at breaking point anyway, having pushed myself like that, and dad had also decided to start some work around the apartment just that day, of course, making noise, taking piles of stuff out of the living room and placing it all over the kitchen and hallway… At first he even said “we’ll see” when I reminded him I wanted to be able to get to bed whenever I’ll want to the next day, without any noise bothering me, and didn’t want to have to squeeze myself around all that stuff that night either, but he eventually did at least get the stuff from the kitchen before I went to eat that night. However, perhaps in an attempt to get closer to finishing then, he was still doing stuff even when I finished eating, the fact that he was awake and moving around that night really getting to me, considering the state I was in already. The fact that I couldn’t shower, the hot water not returning even that night, didn’t help either.

The water was still cold when I woke up to pee at 7 AM, but at 9:10 AM, when I went again, it was warm. Obviously didn’t take a shower then, instead getting back to bed, yet continued to keep waking frequently despite not needing to pee again after that, eventually getting up at 2 PM. Did shower in the afternoon, then noticed that they had printed Lucian-Robert under my number, therefore ignoring the fact that I had written just Robert in the field for what you want to be printed there, and the organizers even completely ignored this part when they did eventually reply, after the race, to the message I sent then to ask about this and a couple of other things. Either way, tried to get some more sleep, but I think I only got about half an hour or so, though otherwise I guess I sort of meditated, counting on heartbeats and breaths, even getting to 500… Got up around 8:45 PM, started doing stuff in the kitchen, then really stuffed myself, eating 2 kg or so, and managing to finish before midnight.

After the race, when I left Constitution Square, I was thinking to just come straight back, not buy myself anything, since I didn’t deserve it. But dad had given me 30 RON for the day and there was that place I kept meaning to get something from all these years, especially after a race, so when I got to the metro station I just stood there for a while, thinking it over, then decided to not touch what I had intended to spend if I’d have managed to stay under 1:45 but spend those after all, not getting a pizza but finally getting something from there instead. So I turned away from the metro station and walked there instead, then wandered around that area, looking multiple times, taking quite some time to decide, and eventually bought three things for 20 RON. Or, more exactly, for 20.01 RON, since their prices usually end in 97, not even 99, and I gave 20.01 RON to see whether I’ll actually get 0.10 RON back, but had that coin taken but no change given, though at least the cashier stopped me to hand me the receipt.
After that, thought I sort of had a plan for the remaining 10 RON, but as I was leaving that Old Town area I noticed another pastry place with the name, and picture, of a chef that’s also known from TV shows, I think, but surprisingly low prices. Looked it up after getting back and it seems he just allows that place to use his name, possibly being a way for him to start becoming known for such things as well, his actual place, with a name that’s sort of the subtitle of that pastry place, in fact being in this mall that’s close to the farmers’ market here. But some of the things sold there looked interesting, and they were large and usually cheaper than those I had just purchased, so got two more things for 5 RON each… After waiting for the older woman who was there to pay attention, since she was writing something in a register and not caring. Not a chance of a receipt, for me or the others who also got things then, as she just gave us what we asked for and took the money, without as much as touching the cash register.
Was about to piss myself when I got to the metro at Unirii, since I hadn’t gone to the toilet again after the race, and wasn’t sure where a toilet would be there, or even if there was one, but there is a McDonald’s in that station, so went there, just barely managing to hold it long enough. Then, after getting out of the metro here, had a look at the menu of a Turkish restaurant that’s nearby as well, though I obviously had no intention of ordering anything else then, so I pretty much ignored the two waiters who came, one after the other, to ask what I wanted and stand next to me for a bit even though I was just looking through the menu placed next to the door. Still, the time spent there meant I walked back out when another one of the “old guard” activists, who’s also an important member of Demos now, was walking past.
Weighed the stuff I had bought after getting back here, seeing that it weighed just over one kilogram. I actually recall seeing exactly 1.049 kg, though that included the bags… And that was probably very similar to the weight I got rid of just before weighing the food, since as soon as I walked through the door I suddenly found myself really needing to do what I couldn’t before leaving. Then I started eating, going slowly after a while and leaving one of the things for later, since I was completely stuffed. Then I showered and that one last thing became dinner, as I didn’t eat anything else that night. Wouldn’t have felt like it even if I wouldn’t have stuffed myself like that, as after a while I was just sitting at the computer, rather stunned, not doing much of anything, hugging my knees, feeling rotten for having failed… And, of course, thinking of Andra. Even sent her an e-mail, or more exactly just sent a message to be lost into the void… Was finally in bed at 3 AM.

The following day, since my Emsisoft Anti-Malware (EAM) license was ending that evening, I finally got around to doing those tests I had been asked to do and sending the logs. Did get a reply to be told they were sent to the developers, but there was nothing else after I sent another reply, after my license had expired, to ask to be informed if something will come out of it, mainly for the sake of curiosity, though I guess EAM may become an option again in the future, if they’ll fix a lot of things. Since the support guy was otherwise so dedicated, going above and beyond when it came to what little he could actually do himself and talking about plenty of things that were not related to the product as well, this lack of another reply makes me wonder whether their system rejected that last e-mail because I no longer had a valid license when I sent it.
Either way, left around 6:45 PM, wanting to use some trips on that found metro card that was expiring the next day, which meant I had to get back late, after dad would leave, since he wasn’t using his card during the day and it’d have been quite pointless to use mine without doing something I couldn’t do otherwise. So I first went to that bigger Carrefour, getting a few things from there and also finding 1 RON on the floor, plus a couple of coins. After that, went to a park I don’t go to otherwise and explored a bit, at first just going from one end to the other of what I guess is the main alley, then sort of following a couple from a distance for a bit, since they seemed to know where they were going and I didn’t, oddly enough also spotting a 0.10 RON coin despite the fact that it was dark. When I got to another wide alley going to a major exit, I got out of the park, then kept going, being less and less certain that I was even going the right way to return to the metro station as more time passed. Spotted a metro station eventually, but that was actually the one before the one I had gotten off at, or the one after it in the direction I had gone in to get there, and I sort of figured that out right away, so I kept going at first, but after a while I turned around, crossed the road and took the metro from there, getting back here at 11:15 PM.

Still had three trips left on that metro card the next day, when it expired, so I had to use it even though dad again didn’t need his. Did have a plan, but that would have required me getting somewhere by 4 PM or so and it was too late for that when it stopped raining, so I left around 5 PM, taking out the plastic and metal and the glass bottles, then heading for that Carrefour at Obor, finding something that was discounted due to expiring soon and deciding not to go anywhere else after buying that, not wanting to carry it around. Also got some tea, and when I added it up I realized I was missing 0.01 RON to have exact change, which 0.01 RON I guess you can say was that coin I gave when I bought those first things after the half marathon. So, since I didn’t spot any coin when I looked around, I decided to get some bread as well. And then got some cabbage from that market on the way back, prices for it finally getting back to somewhat more normal levels, plus two kilograms of cheap apples. Obviously didn’t even go near those who hadn’t allowed me to pick when I tried, but did in fact let the woman selling those I did buy pick them herself, after I just had a quick look and saw that they were usually good enough.
Since I just needed one more trip to get back, I was left with one more on the card and I really wanted to offer it to someone, but nobody seemed to want it. I actually managed to get myself to hold up the card and ask whether anybody wanted a trip when I got back to that metro station, but nobody said anything, and even when I actually went to a guy who seemed to be having trouble buying one from the machines and told him directly that I had a trip he could use, he refused. Had seen him first at one machine, then he moved to another, I guess taking some time to notice the message stating that this second one was out of order, and then to a third, talking on his phone all this time, and he was still on the phone when I basically grabbed his arm and told him I had that trip. Ended up standing there awkwardly for a bit, until he finished his conversation, then asked again, but he refused, saying he had to get back as well and it’d be better to just buy one… Which I guess was an excuse due to him feeling awkward about it as well, since you can buy cards with a single trip, after all. Either way, that meant I still had that one trip when I got off the metro here, and I couldn’t get myself to ask again, so I just wrote on the back of the card that there was one trip left and it expired that day, then just placed it like that, with the writing on top, on one of the gates, actually right in front of a woman who was digging through her purse just then. No idea whether she used it or not, just left right away, not turning to look.

Written by Cavalary on May 20, 2019 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Televote and Jury Scores for Eurovision 2019

Since the official site doesn’t seem to list the results in this manner, or at least I couldn’t find such a listing and put it together myself, I’ll throw here the split results, as in the televote and jury points separately, for each of the three evenings. It’s rather odd, to be able to see the detailed results, including how each jury member from each country voted, and of course the total, but not this sort of split. Or at least not for anything but the jury scores in the final, since those are displayed like this during the competition itself. I’m pretty sure everything’s accurate, including when it was a matter of tiebreakers, but I’m not going to make any guarantees. It’s largely for my own use anyway, and I’m just posting the data, without commenting on it. The countries are arranged according to the position in the overall ranking.

NOTE: This post reflects the situation right after the competition, before the scores were revised.

Country Televote Jury
Points Pos. Points Pos.
First Semifinal
Australia 140 2 121 3
Czech Republic 85 6 157 1
Iceland 151 1 70 8
Estonia 133 3 65 9
Greece 54 9 131 2
Slovenia 93 5 74 7
Serbia 65 7 91 5
San Marino 124 4 26 15
Cyprus 54 10 95 4
Belarus 44 11 78 6
Poland 60 8 60 11
Hungary 32 14 65 10
Belgium 20 15 50 12
Georgia 33 13 29 14
Portugal 43 12 8 17
Montenegro 15 16 31 13
Finland 14 17 9 16
Second Semifinal
The Netherlands 140 2 140 3
North Macedonia 84 7 155 1
Sweden 88 6 150 2
Switzerland 137 3 95 6
Azerbaijan 121 5 103 5
Russia 124 4 93 7
Norway 170 1 40 11
Malta 50 10 107 4
Albania 58 9 38 12
Denmark 41 11 53 9
Lithuania 77 8 16 17
Moldova 27 13 58 8
Romania 24 14 47 10
Croatia 38 12 26 14
Latvia 13 16 37 13
Armenia 23 15 26 15
Austria 0 18 21 16
Ireland 3 17 13 18
Final
The Netherlands 261 2 231 3
Italy 253 3 212 4
Russia 244 4 125 9
Switzerland 212 5 148 8
Norway 291 1 47 16
Sweden 93 9 239 1
Azerbaijan 100 8 197 5
North Macedonia 58 12 237 2
Australia 131 7 154 6
Iceland 186 6 48 14
Czech Republic 7 24 150 7
Denmark 51 15 69 12
Slovenia 59 11 46 17
France 38 18 67 13
Cyprus 32 20 69 11
Malta 20 22 75 10
Serbia 54 13 38 19
Albania 47 17 43 18
Estonia 48 16 38 20
San Marino 65 10 16 23
Greece 24 21 47 15
Spain 53 14 7 26
Israel 35 19 12 25
Germany 0 26 32 21
Belarus 13 23 18 22
United Kingdom 3 25 13 24
Written by Cavalary on May 19, 2019 at 6:57 PM in Music | 0 Comments

Eurovision 2019

Didn’t have high hopes after the first semifinal, but the level of the second was noticeably higher, and despite some good acts, including my top pick from the entire competition, not making it through, the final was quite nice overall, and at least two of the countries that automatically qualified definitely added to its value. There were a few good songs, a few great voices, a few acts with good show value, including one truly standing out from this point of view, and I’d say a single song I particularly disliked… Yet it ended up second. Do continue to dislike using camera tricks and overlaid images instead of actually doing something on stage for show value, yet after first making a note of the practice last year, I saw it happening again this time around.
Did check out the songs on the official channel after they were all selected, but that just means I went through them a couple of times quite some time ago, after that only listening to a couple of them some more. Again didn’t follow news or updates or look for other videos, have no idea what other songs were in the national finals and since I didn’t look at anything from rehearsals I didn’t know the potential show value of the entries. Happened to check the background story for Hatari, since they definitely stood out, and in so doing learned that they should stand out even more, but that was about it.

NOTE: This post reflects the situation right after the competition, before the scores were revised.

Netherlands winning reminds me of 2009, when I also didn’t even want the winner to make it into the final. Not that it was any different in 2016 or 2017, but 2009 was what I thought of first. Yes, I can recognize the quality of the song, but in terms of the overall impression, it wasn’t one that really stood out for me even from that point of view, and the entirely static performance caused me to drop it so low in my classification, and as I already mentioned, in fact not even include it among those I selected to qualify into the final, whether according to my classification or purely subjectively. I’d also note that it didn’t win either the televote or the jury vote, in either the final or its semifinal.
I guess Italy obtained such a good result thanks to the message and what the singer represents, but for me that didn’t mean much and the song itself was the one I actually disliked out of those in the final, and without a show value to make it stand out either, it ended up last in my classification and I stand by that assessment.
Russia had a solid performance, scoring well in every aspect, be it the song itself, the singer’s voice or the show value, yet somehow not being among the entries that stood out the most. So probably not truly suitable to win, but definitely a performance that belongs among the top few, and a whole lot better than the two above it, or the one below, if you ask me.
Switzerland being fourth is something I really have no explanations for. I considered the song to be one of the poorer ones of the final, the show value was fair but no more than that, and there was no message or some other particular reason for it to do so well, or at least none that I’m aware of.
When it comes to Norway, on the other hand, I’m pleased it ended up higher than in my classification, and that it actually won the public vote in both the final and its semifinal, each time obtaining exactly 30 points more than Netherlands. Could have been performed somewhat better and it definitely deserved a much better show value, having a great potential for this, but even so it definitely is a good and interesting song and performance and I have no idea why the juries had such a poor opinion of it. Was actually looking at the Romanian jury and how three of the five ranked Norway last during the semifinal. In the final, four ranked it between 16th and 20th, one who had ranked it higher in the semifinal changing her mind and placing it below all four others which had qualified from that semifinal and which she had placed below it then. I’m really baffled… Or, now that I looked it up, maybe not quite so much anymore, but that sort of technical problem shouldn’t have had such an impact and, either way, it still won’t explain the semifinal.

I keep thinking of changing my ranking system, giving more weight to the song, possibly even separating the song itself, in terms of composition, from how it is performed, or perhaps having one mark and modifiers for other aspects, such as show value, personal impression and maybe even voice, that can raise or lower it by up to a certain amount and are weighted in a certain way. But for now it remains the same, giving one mark for song and another for show value, plus a positive, neutral or negative modifier, and ranking first according to the overall mark that is the result of averaging the song and show ones, then according to the song mark and then, if both marks are equal, according to the modifier. In case all three are equal, the ranking is the result of me trying to quickly compare the performances in question at the end.
Once again, still largely for my own use, I’ll list all the information here, with the first number being the position in my classification, the one between parentheses that follows it being the actual position, the first number that follows the country name being the overall mark, the second being the song mark and the modifier, if not neutral, being listed at the end. All links are from the official channel, so they shouldn’t vanish.

1. (9.) Australia (7.25, 6.5, minus)
2. (3.) Russia (7, 7)
3. (23.) Israel (6.75, 7)
4. (10.) Iceland (6.75, 6.5, plus)
5. (14.) France (6.75, 6.5, plus)
6. (21.) Greece (6.75, 6.5)
7. (7.) Azerbaijan (6.75, 6.5, minus)
8. (6.) Sweden (6.5, 7)
9. (8.) North Macedonia (6.5, 7, minus)
10. (5.) Norway (6.5, 6.5, plus)
11. (19.) Estonia (6.5, 6.5)
12. (12.) Denmark (6.5, 6, minus)
13. (22.) Spain (6.5, 6, minus)
14. (17.) Serbia (6.25, 7)
15. (24.) Germany (6.25, 6.5, plus)
16. (26.) United Kingdom (6.25, 6.5, plus)
17. (13.) Slovenia (6.25, 6.5, minus)
18. (20.) San Marino (6.25, 6.5, minus)
19. (15.) Cyprus (6.25, 6)
20. (4.) Switzerland (6.25, 6)
21. (16.) Malta (6.25, 6)
22. (25.) Belarus (6.25, 6, minus)
23. (1.) The Netherlands (6, 6.5, plus)
24. (11.) Czech Republic (6, 6, minus)
25. (18.) Albania (5.75, 6)
26. (2.) Italy (5.75, 5.5)

My ranking matched the actual results for Azerbaijan and Denmark, was one place off for North Macedonia and Russia, two places off for San Marino and Sweden, and three places off for Belarus and Serbia. On the other hand, it was at least ten places off for Czech Republic, Greece, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Kingdom, and even 20 or more places off for Israel, Italy and Netherlands.

Australia truly stood out thanks to the show value. That was outstanding, and the singer’s voice was great as well, and would have been even if she wouldn’t have been singing while “flying” around like that! The problem is that the song itself didn’t impress me, and in fact in the semifinal I gave it half a point less than I eventually did in the final. Still, should have ended up higher than it did.
I already stated my opinion of Russia’s entry above, but I will add that I was actually thinking before ending up scoring Australia a bit higher than I had in the semifinal that, with Moldova out, I was likely to rank Russia first and that didn’t feel quite right, seeing as there are a few acts that stand out in some way and this isn’t really one of them. But, yes, I’d say it was the one act that made it into the final that did well from all points of view.
While I’m actually surprised that the calls for a boycott and the protests were so successful, the most notable result being that Israel received zero points from the juries, the 12 received from Belarus actually being the result of the actual votes of that jury being dismissed, I understand why this entry ended up so low. However, I just judged what I saw and heard during the competition, and this was a good song performed by a singer with an outstanding voice. I’m not saying it should have been higher, because I can definitely agree with the reasons why it was penalized so harshly, but I will say that it should have been among the top few if it’d have been any other country’s entry.
Doubt anyone can argue that Iceland didn’t truly stand out, and it’s nice to see that it at least won the televote for its semifinal. It’s too harsh to be something I’d normally listen to, but it was nevertheless the song I ended up listening to a fair bit before the competition. It’s a particularly bold entry and quite a breath of fresh air, including a fair amount of show, and definitely also shock, value. And that was my opinion even before checking out the information about them and finding that they’re anticapitalists and having another important reason to vote for them.
France was interesting, both in terms of the song itself and that of the message, and I really expected it to do much better. Admittedly, it seemed performed better the first time around, not in the final, but even so, I’m particularly surprised it wasn’t at the very least in the top ten.
Greece had a good performance overall, not particularly standing out in any way but having a good enough song, quite an interesting voice and a pretty good show value as well. I guess its problem was that, despite the singer’s somewhat unusual yet definitely very good voice, the entry doesn’t really have something to make you remember it when many others follow, and maybe it did end up a bit too high in my classification, since now I see that it’s one of the two out of my top ten that I don’t exactly care to listen to again, but it definitely should have been way higher than it was in the actual competition.
Azerbaijan had that interesting first part in terms of show value, while most of the song itself didn’t impress me, but there is a part that improved my impression. It remains one of the two songs in my top ten that I don’t exactly care to listen to again, but in terms of the overall package, I’m content with it being seventh. Interestingly, this makes it one of the two entries for which my classification matched the actual results.
Sweden had one of the better songs of the competition, but was hindered by not doing anything in particular for show value. It remains a pretty good package overall thanks to the song, and perhaps the sixth place it ended up on is fairer than the eighth it obtained in my classification, but that’s pretty much where it should be.
Despite neither sounding nor looking actually alike, North Macedonia is very similar to Sweden in the sense that it’s a nice song, with a good voice, but again not much show value, the displayed images barely making up for nothing actually happening on stage. That negative modifier is due to the fact that it, to put it mildly, reminds me of an older Romanian song, even when it comes to the words of the chorus, “spune-mi” meaning “tell me”. Interestingly, Monica Anghel was in the Romanian jury, and she ranked it first, in both the semifinal and the final.
As for Norway, I already stated that I’m pleased it ended up higher than in my classification. Maybe one of the guys didn’t quite have the voice for it, but the other made up for that, and it was a pretty good song, with an interesting sound. It’s just unfortunate that it had a great potential for a good show as well and they didn’t care too much for that, not when it comes to what actually happened on stage at least. Even considering those technical problems in the “jury final”, I definitely can’t explain why the juries had such a poor opinion of it.

To mention the semifinals as well, I did make one change in my notes, since despite still giving the usual marks I actually selected the acts I’d have wanted to go through completely subjectively, so I’ll list the differences compared to those that did actually go through from both lists here. In the first semifinal, my classification had Belgium, Georgia and Montenegro instead of Slovenia, Cyprus and Czech Republic, but while I didn’t want Cyprus and Czech Republic to qualify subjectively either, Slovenia was on that list, alongside Hungary, with Belarus, Belgium and San Marino having question marks and fighting for the last spot in that scenario, Belarus probably grabbing it, with San Marino just missing out because of Serhat’s poor performance and Belgium thrown out. As for the second, my classification had Moldova clearly on the first spot, in the entire competition in fact, and then also Croatia, Latvia and Romania instead of Albania, Malta, Netherlands and Switzerland, and the top ten in my classification also include all the eight I subjectively wanted to qualify, but when it comes to the question marks, I’d have likely ended up making one more replacement, removing Denmark and adding Lithuania, with Netherlands likely just losing that battle with Azerbaijan for the last spot because of that entirely static performance.

Written by Cavalary on May 19, 2019 at 4:58 AM in Music | 0 Comments