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Finally, Another Good Run, Despite the Crowded Park!

Yesterday was the obvious day to run this week, so I did, and can finally say that I regained my speed. Interestingly, the time was the exact same one I managed when I said this last year, but while the weather was also good, this time around the park was anything but clear, in fact being quite crowded and forcing me to weave around people, keep looking for spots to get through, and slow and even stop quite a few times. In spite of all of that, the time was indeed 47:39, with sector times of 4:18, 5:03, 5:48, 4:28, 5:00, 5:49, 4:23, 5:03, 5:56 and 1:51, making for lap times of 15:09, 15:17 and 15:22. So, yes, unlike last year, when each lap was faster than the one before it, now each one was slower, but the real time for lap two should be about the same as that for the first, if not even slightly faster, considering the roadblocks. Lap three did seem somewhat clearer though, so the slower time is really due to me getting tired, but not by much, and the fact that I likely left a second or so at the end wasn’t because I was completely out of energy. Can’t quite say why I slowed down just then, with the finish line in sight, but I noticed myself doing it and didn’t really care enough to do anything about it on those final meters, being so pleased with my time already.
All the way, even just before going to bed in the morning, the forecast stated that the high will be 13-14°C, with little wind, 5-6 km/h, and a partly cloudy sky, which was to get even more cloudy around 5 PM. However, when I woke up and looked outside, I saw that it was really sunny, and when I opened the window it definitely seemed warmer than it should have been, so I checked the weather then and saw 19°C! The wind was listed as around 10 km/h, but it didn’t seem like it when I looked from inside. What this meant was that I went out just in a t-shirt, since there was definitely no reason to take the jacket anymore, which I had planned to do at first, according to the forecast. So no additional weight to carry at all, barely faint traces left of the symptoms left after the flu, and the rib was much better as well, in fact that day being the first when I noticed I could get up normally after waking up, without needing to find a “good” way to move. There was, and still is, some pain, but nothing like it used to be, though that spot is definitely swollen. And I finally took my running shoes again too, which obviously helped as well.
Did feel a bit of wind at the start, but can’t say I noticed it anymore after a while. The people, on the other hand, were a serious problem, many not even caring to leave some room when they were just walking from the opposite direction and seeing that I was running and trying to hold a certain line, and I was trying to prepare myself mentally for failing to get under 48:30 once again. Even after those first two sectors that were faster than expected I only just started to hope to get there again, not for anything better, even getting back to thinking I won’t make it after the roadblocks on lap two. It was only at the end of lap two that getting under 48 minutes started seeming possible, yet even then I thought it was going to be very hard, and it obviously wasn’t. With a clear path, I’d have quite clearly been looking at a top three time, possibly even a new second best, though at the same time I’m not sure I’d have pushed so hard in such a scenario, since now I knew I had to give it absolutely everything whenever I had a bit of space and did so.
For once, dogs seemed more of a problem than children, and mothers who have eyes only for them and get in the way. There were still plenty of them not looking, or the children not coordinating their movements either, and getting in the way, but women pushing prams even cleared the way, being ahead of me, through the crowd that was in front of one of the food stalls on the first two laps, and without a similar “service” on the third I had to go around the bench on the inside of that curve, not really cutting the curve since I went right back on the path after the bench. On the other hand, definitely noticed the issues caused by dogs stretching leashes and barring the way through the already narrow spots between people, and not just in the area around the entrance of the area meant for dogs. On sector two of lap two it was first a situation created by dogs that caused me to have to stop for a moment, though a child probably trying to get a little bit away from the dogs and people coming from opposite directions were the other “ingredients”. And the second issue on that sector had to do with four or so people with dogs coming one after the other and me just barely managing to weave my way around all but the last one, when the stretched leash completely blocked my way and I had to stop and step to the side to get around the guy holding it. On the other hand, there was even an issue with another runner, who was admittedly running in the same direction but should have been aware that I was just about to pass her when she just stopped in front of me and turned to hug another woman, with a baby, that she obviously knew. Almost ran right into them, and probably should have done so, on purpose.
The worst moment was at the start of lap two though, under the bridge. One of those maintenance trucks was just getting under the bridge, driving very slowly, and a guy was walking in front of it, apparently unaware until he noticed the two women pushing prams in the opposite direction stopping next to the wall and me trying to get as close to the wall as I could too, at which point he suddenly looked around and stepped aside, seeming a bit startled. However, that left me completely stuck behind those women, since the truck’s mirror was pretty much just above their shoulders, there was absolutely no way through until at least the mirror cleared them, at which point I also somehow just squeezed through. Likely lost some five seconds just there.

Didn’t feel tired after the run, but I guess I was, since this morning I had one of those dreams within dreams to a quite extreme extent, four or five “layers” of it, with just the first one seeming a regular dream. After that, it seemed that I had woken up, but was in fact still dreaming, seeing myself here and now but with something not quite right, as it tends to happen in such cases, the unusual elements being less obvious each time. The last time I “woke up” without actually waking up, I was getting quite desperate, and was also for some reason really sad because I had heard dad making pancakes in the previous dream and the fact that it had been just a dream meant that after all that mess I didn’t have pancakes either, and curled in a ball and cried, possibly screamed as well, not sure anymore, but of course that was also a dream, and I then woke up from that as well. Was rather surprisingly calm when I was actually awake though, just waiting for it all to settle. Did wonder what was real and what had been a dream about a few things for some hours though.

As for Sunday, grabbed two very short “games” from itch.io, No Response and Causeway, since they were again free at the time and at least No Response seems to be appreciated if taken for what it is, a very short experience, a “walking simulator” meant to just put the player in a certain state. In a way, grabbed them because they’re not on MobyGames and I thought it’d be something relatively easy to submit too, but couldn’t do that since they seem to be 64-bit only, though I definitely see no reason why they’d need that, so I couldn’t play them. But at least I managed to do the usual 100 squats in a very fast time again that day, since I timed myself again, pushed hard and finished in 2:49, so just three seconds slower than what is likely my fastest time, since I highly doubt I do them so quickly when I don’t time myself.
However, things got interesting, in a bad way, at night. Dad had taken a bath, finishing around midnight, I went to the kitchen at 1 AM, got some things ready, then went to pee at 1:20 AM… And stepped right into quite a puddle. He didn’t tell me or ask me to do something about it if he didn’t manage to sort it out, didn’t even leave a note for me to find after he went to bed, but he had somehow managed to leave a few millimeters of water on the bathroom floor, likely even one centimeter in the corner. One of the rugs, the one with the rubber back, was set to dry, but the other, smaller, one, made out of a part of a carpet, was right in the puddle, completely soaked, the two little things I had placed in the corner to catch the moisture dripping off the cold water pipe when it’s cold outside and that gets really cold were floating freely, one of them a good half a meter away from its place, and the mop was just left in the middle of the puddle, with the handle discarded somewhere. Not its actual handle, as dad broke that one apparently opening or closing the window with it, so this one doesn’t fit it properly and it’ll keep coming off. There is a handle from something else that does fit, but he won’t remember what it is even when just told, so he told me yesterday that he just got annoyed by it coming away and left the mop there to just soak up the water on its own, which of course couldn’t happen with such a quantity. Managed to clean up well enough, but it took me 20 minutes, and with the water having been there for well over one hour to begin with, maybe even two hours, depending on exactly when it ended up on the floor, I definitely worried that we had flooded the downstairs neighbor… But maybe we didn’t, since I didn’t hear anything about that.

Written by Cavalary on February 5, 2019 at 8:17 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Back to Eschalon and Under 50 Minutes

Wednesday I got back to Eschalon, and I’m actually trying to push forward, since I know I gave up back in 2017 because I was too wary of doing so and don’t want to let myself get like that again, so I’d rather get back to it now instead of writing this, but I guess I’ll try to get it out of the way first. The date of the last save was May 19, 2017, and it was actually made after an important main quest moment, but the previous save was from May 10 and the playing time was just 0.2 hours less, and the one before that was from April 16, with the playing time only 0.1 more hours less, and basically just a handful of steps away from the May 10 one. So I guess those last two were the last attempt from 2017 to get back to the game, after having been too wary to continue in April, and then I thought I had been wrong to continue and just gave up for good. Of course, since I can’t remember exactly what I was thinking then, I can only hope it was just a case of me worrying and my perfectionism getting in the way and not that I actually realized I had done something wrong, as that’d imply that continuing from that last save will eventually put me in a bad position, but I guess I’ll keep both the April 16 and May 19 saves around, just in case.

This week’s run was Thursday, after initially meaning to run Tuesday and giving up after opening the window that day. According to the forecast at the end of last week, there was going to be a short break between the days of freezing rain, which caused thousands of trees to break or get uprooted by the weight of the ice, plus countless branches breaking off those that survived, poles also falling, cables snapping, hundreds of cars and all sorts of other things getting damaged, and the regular rain, which was supposed to start Wednesday afternoon, so I thought Tuesday was my only chance. However, by then the forecast had changed, the rain still being supposed to start Wednesday afternoon but stopping between Thursday morning and evening, so if I was to believe that new forecast I had a second option, and decided to make use of it when I opened the window after waking up Tuesday, heard what appeared to be rain and quickly realized that it was all that ice melting, causing not only what in effect was rain if you were under anything but also, worse, a “rain” of icicles that simply made it unwise to go out at all. Plus, I had seen all the branches and even entire trees gathered at best in piles everywhere the previous evening, and the pole which had fallen across the street and still hadn’t been picked up, so if the sidewalks looked like that, I doubted that the path around the lake was clear enough by then.
The thing is that the weather turned out to have been good for running Wednesday too, and I woke up before noon, when dad left, so there was no danger of the rain coming before I’d get back, the forecast pushing it to the evening anyway. However, it’s possible that it was actually too warm Wednesday, 8-9°C, the lower limit for running with just a t-shirt on and I didn’t intend to do that, so in the end Thursday proved to be the better choice. The rain just ended in the morning and the sky remained overcast, so it was wet, a lot of humidity in the air, some wind too, though I can’t say I felt it after I started running, but the reported temperature of 6-7°C meant I could wear my training shirt as well. Still thought I’d overheat, dressed like that, but I didn’t.
Pushed every step of the way, meant to at least get back under 50 minutes and managed it, the time being 49:11, with sector times of 4:21, 5:09, 6:05, 4:33, 5:04, 6:03, 4:34, 5:15, 6:12 and 1:55, making for lap times of 15:35, 15:40 and 16:01. After the first sector I wondered whether I had even recovered my normal speed, realized I hadn’t after the next two sectors, but then the second lap, sectors two and three in particular, made me hope to even get under 49 minutes. That ended after I saw the time for the third lap’s second sector, but I still pushed to see how close I could get, despite feeling that I was simply out of energy.
Still took my regular shoes, there were some puddles to go around, the piles of fallen and cut branches had been pushed to the sides but there were a few areas with small branches not swept away, which were slippery under those conditions, and there were three spots, one in sector one and two in sector three, where branches that are usually low were even lower and needed to be avoided. The other two were fine, but one of those spots from sector three required me to dodge quickly the first time, and then, despite thinking that I’ll remember it and know what to do on the next two laps, found myself likely thinking of something else just at that moment on lap two and very suddenly dodging out of reflex when the branches were just in front of my eyes, leaning left and making my rib hurt a fair bit, though it wasn’t much of a problem otherwise. The other issue was that on lap three’s third sector I felt like I needed to take a crap again, despite having gone twice before leaving. Not terribly so, but it was another thing to manage. Other than that, breathed out mostly through my mouth, but obviously never in.

Since I mentioned the rib, it still hurts quite a lot when I wake up, so it definitely doesn’t agree with my sleeping position, or with something I do in my sleep, but it’s not much of a problem anymore otherwise. Using creams twice per day, usually one with natural ingredients, the other one just the first time and before running. It still feels swollen in that spot, and it got worse before getting better though, something just snapping Saturday, when I was in the kitchen after wiping the dust in my room and also getting over the corner of the bed from the other bedroom to take a picture of something, and the pain definitely getting worse after that moment. Not that I let that stop me, since I had started cleaning my room after a long time and I finished in spite of that, changing the sheets too.

Saturday was a pretty bad day in terms of how I felt for other reasons too. Then again, was panicking before I got to bed that morning too, feeling that tickling again in my chest and coughing again a bit, so I went to bed at 4:30 AM and again had to blow and spit stuff out when I woke up. It wasn’t much, but it was again yellow, possibly even with a trace of blood from the nose and what was coming from my throat and chest maybe even getting greenish again. Still felt that tickling too, though it did seem somewhat different, more like a normal feeling after having to cough and spit stuff out. My left hand was also twitching and it took quite a while to stop, and even when it wasn’t obvious anymore, after taking a nap late in the evening, before taking a bath, I could still feel it wanting to do that a few times. Still, after the bath and while eating that night I started hoping that the treatment had indeed worked, since that feeling making me cough didn’t get worse, and might have even felt a bit better, though I again got worried when it did get worse before going to sleep, so got in bed at 4:45 AM.
The next day I no longer had much of anything to blow, but there was still some stuff from throat and chest, and definitely that unpleasant color again. That feeling that made me cough was much reduced though, and remained so after I got in bed, even if it was noticeable again then. And that’s more or less how it’s been since then, still noticing a bit of that feeling but not really making me cough anymore except when I wake up, when there may still be a bit of stuff to spit out, though the color seems to have mostly cleared, and late at night, or early in the morning if you prefer, just before I get in bed and while I am there, before falling asleep. It’s not bad then either, not even something I need to really make an effort to manage anymore. On the other hand, a tooth, in the upper left side, seemed to want to start hurting, this getting quite noticeable Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning, when a combination of this, the fact that I had napped late and being worried by some noises the HDD was making made it very hard to fall asleep. Does, however, seem to have gotten much better on its own since then.

Other than that, Monday evening, a bit after 7 PM, I went to Carrefour and Kaufland, dropping off the recyclables on the way as well. Got a few things for myself and more that my parents wanted, needing to ask about the coffee, since in the spot where it should normally be there were just the smaller boxes, which weren’t on sale, those that were on sale having been moved to the main alley, so at the end of a shelf, but that being the one with cereals, not coffee, so I hadn’t noticed them and assumed they had sold out before somehow managing to work up the courage to ask an employee and being told where to look. Either way, after going through the mall Carrefour’s in again on the way back, I saw two carts outside, one definitely having a coin in it, so I just connected it to the other and grabbed the coin. Didn’t spot a coin in the other, but didn’t mean to take them all the way back for it anyway, so can’t say I looked too hard either.

And now, after taking a break to sort of listen to the second half of a match while checking some other stuff on-line, let me get to yesterday as well, when I went to get some more things, since I definitely needed bread. Found myself waking up around 9:45 AM and got up a bit after 10 AM, waiting for dad to leave first, then put the plastic bottles which had gathered in a bag and meant to leave at 11 AM, yet couldn’t make it and decided to wait for the next free bus, going out at 11:30 AM and waiting ten minutes, since it came pretty much exactly on time. Saw the recycling machine open when I got there, but it was quite clear that it was just getting emptied, so I wandered around for a bit and could use it when I got back there, knowing that I didn’t risk it filling up either. Then got some stuff from Auchan, but couldn’t come right back because I couldn’t find one thing I was completely out of, and according to the price that was in that spot on the shelf it’d have been a bit more expensive than at Kaufland anyway, since Auchan apparently increased prices a whole lot lately, this actually being one of the smaller increases I noticed.
So I had to go to Kaufland too, and meant to take the free bus that’d get me closer to it more directly, yet ended up missing it. Thought I had more than enough time when I got in line, but it took a while and I ended up in the station right when it should have left, yet it had apparently left at least a couple of minutes early, since I didn’t see any bus driving away when I got out either. Still, since that bus has a short route, there should have been another leaving in 15 minutes, so I waited, yet when that one should have left the driver and one other man started working on the engine and it didn’t go anywhere, and I ended up waiting for 23 minutes and taking the next bus coming here, which also left a couple of minutes early. Did use it to get closer to Kaufland, in fact being able to get off it a little bit closer than if I’d have taken the other one, just that it doesn’t go there directly, so I wasted a fair bit of time and would have likely gotten there faster on foot.
At Kaufland I managed to find the thing I still needed, though at first I thought they were also out, since the box with those little bags was behind another, the spot where that price label was being empty. So got two of those and one more thing, and even found a 0.05 RON coin a few steps away from me when I got in line and had a look around, this allowing me to give the exact amount to the cashier. And then, after almost giving up on going inside Carrefour as well when all the cabinets were full when I got there, changing my mind after a girl came and got her stuff out of one a few moments later and I could use it to store my purchases, the same thing happened there as well, though in that case I found that coin right after getting the two things I got from there, on my way to the checkout, and it didn’t allow me to give the exact amount but one that left the cashier just needing to give me back 0.50 RON. Then found two more 0.05 RON coins after walking away, one right past the checkout, and also one 0.10 RON one at some point, though can’t recall where anymore. On the other hand, for once I left a cart that clearly had a coin in it next to the exit of that mall, since I saw it but was in a hurry. Had lost time getting there, then a few more moments checking out the nearby sporting equipment store for something dad’s looking for, and I had seen ski jumping starting at 3:35 PM in the TV schedule, though I thought the round started at 5:10 PM, so was wondering what that was about and was already late, only getting back just before 4 PM and seeing that I had missed the first 15 jumps of the qualifying, which had likely started at 3:45 PM.

Written by Cavalary on February 2, 2019 at 10:42 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

(Probably) Final Efforts to Reestablish Contact with Opportunity

15 years after landing and seven and a half months after last contact, the team is making what is likely the final push in the effort to reestablish contact with Opportunity. Since she failed to send as much as a beep in the months since the conditions should have allowed her to once again charge her batteries, the chances that the rover is still capable of communicating are very low and getting lower with every day that passes, but the time of year during which the solar panels have previously been cleaned of some of the dust deposited on them is now, so in case the problem so far has been that so much dust had gathered during the dust storm that hardly any sunlight reached the solar panels, it is possible that the situation has recently changed or will soon do so, at least a little. It’s unlikely, since being without power for so long would have most probably caused other failures, the amount of dust needed to prevent charging sufficiently to even send a beep would also in itself risk damaging the rover’s systems, and being covered in so much dust and then suddenly getting rid of quite a lot of it isn’t particularly likely either, but highly unlikely doesn’t mean impossible.
Still, there’s nothing the team can do about the dust, so they’re addressing other potential problems, sending commands which would provide Opportunity with instructions to get around potential failures which would require “a series of unlikely events”, I assume in order to occur on their own, without this implying a complete failure and the rover being unable to wake up on her own at all. Even if this strategy would be successful, I’m not sure how much the rover would still be able to do in such a state, especially if the problem, or one of the problems, has to do with a major failure of her communications systems, but I guess that’s something to think about if she will “call home” at all… And I still want to hope, at least a little bit, that she somehow will.

Written by Cavalary on January 28, 2019 at 2:46 AM in Space | 0 Comments

Catching Up, After Finishing Treatment, Now Let’s See…

Finished the treatment yesterday and don’t like how I woke up today, but it’s too soon to say whether the symptoms will actually reappear and I should really get around to writing about the flu and doctors, even more so since Wednesday I finished the book and wrote the quick review, leaving me even more depressed than I usually am but also with one less excuse. Still, first I’ll mention that I ran again Monday, still embarrassingly slowly. The time was 53:25, with sector times of 4:29, 5:35, 6:32, 4:55, 5:38, 6:37, 5:04, 5:45, 6:45 and 2:05, making for lap times of 16:36, 17:10 and 17:34. The reported temperature was 2-3°C and there was some wind, plus a bit of muck left in a few small areas, and I again didn’t pick the most efficient paths, but I thought the real problem would be the rib… And I can say that I pretty much forgot about that due to needing to struggle not to shit myself from the very beginning, feeling like I had to go again just before going out the door but deciding not to, since I didn’t have the time, and being quite certain that I was going to end up literally shitting myself even early on. Sort of went from toilet to toilet, whenever I passed one thinking that I had to make it at least to the next, until sector three of lap three, when I knew that the next toilets were close to the end of the lap and I told myself that I’ll finish even if I will shit myself, and somehow managed not to anyway. Obviously no way to push under those circumstances, and on the final sector I took it quite easy, just trying to finish without something in my boxers…
Had set the alarm at 10:10 AM that morning, to watch Halep’s match, then considered going to run right after it, but instead just went to the toilet and then got back to bed, setting the alarm at 3 PM and then rushing to eat something, mostly what I usually do before running, taking the pills and then going out the door at 3:55 PM, rushing a bit to the park, to start running ten minutes later. Rushed back too, sorted out that pressing matter faster than I thought I would, then changed clothes and rushed to the doctor to have my ears checked after she had cleared the stuff from there Thursday, since I had mentioned that problem to the family doctor as well since I was at the clinic anyway. Since I had to go there on my own, dad meeting me there, since we both had an appointment but he was coming directly from where he had been until then, I got a bit confused on the way, going two wrong ways at an intersection before figuring out the right one and not noticing that dad had apparently called me right during that time either, but I ended up being only some three minutes late. He told me that a woman with a child had showed up just before me and he allowed them to go in first, since I wasn’t there yet, but they came out quickly, so it was fine anyway.

Today I first woke up early, seeing 9:14 AM when I checked the time, but managed to get back to sleep… Only to have a scary dream about my computer messing up badly and waking up again quite quickly, seeing 10:23 AM when I could recover enough to check the time, after at first being convinced that the dream had in fact been real and wondering what I was going to do. Still, after that I set the alarm at 10:50 AM and probably managed to just get a few more minutes of sleep before waking up to watch ski jumping, only to find that the session was delayed and ending up sort of watching tennis. Then, since the ski jumping wasn’t on TV when it actually took place and I had also just received the message notifying me that I could pick up the debit card I had to get, I went out and got that over with as well, then got back to see that the recorded ski jumping session started earlier than the TV schedule said it would, so I could see starting from the 21st jumper.

Since I mentioned the computer, I’ll get back to January 5, when I restored from backup one more time. Had updated Emsisoft Anti-Malware (EAM), since the delayed branch had been updated to a new version as well, disabled debug logging after doing so, and that apparently triggered another bug that made it freeze my computer. The support guy said that the reports about that issue ended after this version was released, so he thought it had been fixed, but apparently not, or at least not for me, since for me it’s the first time it happens. Not that I had debug logging enabled in a long time, so I can’t know when it started doing this when it’s disabled, or under what circumstances it may happen. But it still has to do with starting another program, since after turning debug logging off I played a bit more Jotun, then quit the game, started the TV tuner’s software, then tried to open the browser as well and nothing happened. Started Task Manager and, while slowly, it did show up, seeing two instances of iexplore.exe but nothing showing up. So I terminated those processes, tried again, and the result was the same, and then the CPU use fell first to 50% and then to zero, meaning that BOINC couldn’t work anymore either. And nothing worked after that, so had to do a hard reset again, and that put me between a rock and a hard place.
The problem is that whatever causes that conflict that results in a black screen and a conhost.exe crash when attempting to log on seems to be permanent with EAM 2018.11, no longer just happening once after a reboot, usually after a Windows update, and then working normally if rebooting again. And since I had uninstalled and reinstalled EAM in order to get around this issue before and they changed the installer, there’s no separate uninstall option anymore and it can’t be uninstalled under safe mode either, so I thought my only option was to restore from that backup made on December 22 again, the couple of other options the support guy mentioned when I told him about it later not even crossing my mind. That might have still not been enough, since EAM tried to update itself right away, noticing that it hadn’t been updated in a long time, and if it’d have done that I’d have been stuck yet again, since I had to reboot to reinstall that Internet Explorer update too, but I noticed and stopped it.
After rebooting again, saw that the fans were stuck at 70% again, the speed not changing according to the temperature, and since I knew that I needed to shut down the computer, not just reboot, in order to fix that, I did that too, apparently just when EAM was trying to update again, resulting in quite some time passing before it actually shut down and an error in logs, stating that EAM didn’t properly shut down. But the computer started just fine after that, once again without any of those black screens and crashes, the fans were operating normally as well and everything seemed fine, so I allowed EAM to update too, turned debug logging on again, and haven’t rebooted since, seeing as the January Windows updates didn’t seem to include anything critical. But, of course, I will need to install updates and reboot, likely after the February ones will be released, plus that needing to keep debug logging on to avoid my computer from freezing isn’t a solution either, as the logs already take up several GB and my system partition doesn’t have that much free space.
Then again, my license expires on February 14, so I’ll see whether the support guy says that anything has been fixed when the next update will be released, though he did say that since I’m the only one reporting these problems now the developers just flatly said they have no time for it, then likely test myself just then, and depending on how things stand I’ll decide whether I’ll purchase another year or need to get back to testing various other products again. Sure don’t want to do that, especially when there’s just one year left until I’ll unfortunately need to change the operating system as well, which is a prospect that truly horrifies me, seeing as all options are just awful, but if EAM won’t allow me to use my computer anymore, I’ll need to.

That night I went to bed at 4:10 AM, so about one hour early, feeling feverish and weak, and the fever didn’t seem to break while I slept. Woke up the next day with a bad cramp, then had headaches too, and in the evening it got even worse again. The snot wasn’t as much of a problem as it usually is, but I really felt rotten, though the following morning the fever seemed to break after I struggled to blow and spit stuff out at 8 AM, since I was starting to feel something in my chest as well, after being surprised that I hadn’t felt anything there until then. Spent most of that day in bed and the symptoms seemed to change, getting closer to those of a regular cold, and not a bad one at that, so I thought I was on the path to recovery at that point.
Well, things started getting nasty on January 8, when as I was waking up to blow and spit in the morning I noticed more and more blood from my nose. Put a few nose drops then, though I did it while standing and just keeping my nose up, so not sure how far they got, but they did seem to help at first, even if that also meant chunkier stuff ending up in my chest. Later that day I thought I was starting to pretty much clean up, coughing and spitting stuff out easily, and then continued to believe that as I ate at night, when I had a coughing fit every couple of bites, needing to spit stuff out and give myself a moment to recover before being able to take a couple more bites, and then having to go through it all over again.
The morning of January 10 was again hard, still having to wake up to cough and blow stuff out, eyes being runny and bloodshot and just feeling exhausted, though it was much better after I managed to catch another hour of sleep in the evening. The cough wasn’t getting better though, and when I took a bath and got myself fully under water I couldn’t make it ten seconds without a bad coughing fit and needing to spit, which I guess would have been a way to get a lot of crap out but was too tedious, so I gave up after a while. It was even worse while eating that night though, with bad coughing fits pretty much every time I swallowed, my chest and back starting to hurt, getting really tired because of it and continuing to cough after I finished eating too. The other symptoms seemed gone, but the cough was getting really worrying.
The next day dad was supposed to go to the family doctor anyway, to get my mother’s prescription, and considering the hard and scary morning I had, being unable to stop coughing, needing to carefully control breathing to have any chance to catch bits of sleep between being woken up by more bad coughing fits, and blowing mostly dried blood from my nose as well, I sent him a message, asking him to ask her about it as well. The problem is that she doesn’t schedule people, or if she tells them to come at a certain time the schedule’s not respected, people usually being received in the order they arrive in, and staying inside longer than they should because she’s alone in the office and answers the phone while patients are there too, so he waited for quite some time and eventually left, saying there were still 12 people ahead of him at that point and he’ll try again Monday, so he just got a few more things from a pharmacy on the way back. My nose also got stuffy again after I sent him that message, but it cleared again by evening, the problem remaining the cough, which was scaring me more and more. It wasn’t dry anymore during the day, but the feeling was the same, as if something was tickling me inside my chest, just that I had stuff to spit out too. Eating and drinking hot things, including hot milk with honey, helped for a bit, but then that feeling returned, and I started seeing some traces of blood in what I was spitting out too, though just occasionally and, considering what was coming from my nose, it didn’t mean that any of it was actually coming from my chest.
When I got in bed the next morning I noticed I could resist coughing for a little bit of time even in positions in which I immediately had a coughing fit until then, so I tried that, only coughing lightly once or twice every few seconds, and managed to fall asleep, only waking up almost three hours after going to bed, my body having apparently decided to show me what it meant to do so, since my nose was really stuffy and there was a whistling sound from my chest when I breathed, which definitely hadn’t happened until then. Could clear my nose after a few attempts, but all the coughing didn’t produce anything from my chest, yet I managed to get back to sleep and only woke up close to two and a half hours later, and only because of the noise, the plumber being in the building again, continuing to replace the water meters. More coughing and blowing, the coughing again completely dry, then back to sleep and only waking up again some two and a half hours later, just before the plumber got here too. Did have quite a coughing fit when I woke up that time, but heard the door right away, so very carefully controlled my breathing and position and somehow managed to wait until he left.
After eating that night, the bad dry coughing fits continued, and the first few hours in bed were very hard. Couldn’t do anything, couldn’t stop coughing, no way to sleep, eventually tried to sleep face down and that resulted in my nose getting stuffy and runny instantly, needing to get up a couple more times… However, I know I got up around 8:45 AM and then I’m not sure whether I did so one more time or that was actually the last, was quite confused at that point, but what I do know is that after that I just crashed, probably passed out more than simply falling asleep, and only got up at 5:10 PM. A rib seemed to hurt, having started to do so during the morning, and there was snot to get rid of, but both nose and chest seemed to clear easily enough. Tried to tell my mother, who was just getting ready to leave again, that it’s bad, but it’s hard to talk about such things, or to my parents about anything, and she was making it harder by trying to fill in the blanks while I was struggling to get the words out, and then it all came to nothing when I mentioned the doctor and said that I don’t trust her and may not want to take what she’ll prescribe, and that they’ll likely get on my case because of that… And she started to do just that, so I just said we have nothing to talk about and just ran back to my room, avoiding her until she left.

Still, with dad going to the doctor again the next day, I ended up going with him. Considered going to a hospital myself, perhaps even at night, before he got back from work, when there should have been fewer people too and the cough was really bad, and the doctors from there would have been unknown to me, so at least I’d have been neutral about them, not distrustful from the start, but I was too afraid, so after he went to bed I left him a note in the kitchen, asking him to wake me so we’ll go together and explaining some things, including mentioning that we are so completely and fundamentally incompatible, starting from the most basic thought patterns, that any attempt to communicate can only result in anger and frustration on both sides, bad misunderstandings and a feeling of ill will from the other. Not that I’d be compatible with anyone else, but with my parents it’s very obvious and very bad.
So he woke me around 1 PM, not that I had slept much, having manged to nap a bit after going to bed, maybe a bit more at some later point, and then again at some point after 11 AM, until he woke me up. Then we went there, waited our turn, during which time I just read, having taken the book with me just for that purpose, and as soon as we went in and I said something, she jumped to write a prescription. Didn’t give me any diagnosis, listened to my lungs and said she didn’t hear anything, which was obvious, since it was a dry cough, sent me to get an x-ray done, stating that it likely won’t be free but nevertheless specifying a place, though I ended up having it done somewhere else anyway, but either way told me to start taking the stuff immediately, since from what I was saying at least the sinus infection was clear. And the treatment included a powerful antibiotic, now when everyone is finally shouting about antibiotic resistance and the need to only take exactly the right kind and only when absolutely necessary, plus something to protect my stomach from it, though no probiotic. It also included a cough syrup with nothing natural in it, in fact having a single active ingredient that has the sole listed purpose of blocking the cough reflex in order to reduce the patient’s discomfort while the cause of the cough is being treated, but also some pills to liquefy the stuff, plus some regular cold medicine and some expensive vitamins. I had mentioned the pills and the cough syrup I wanted to take and she just blew me off. Even the pharmacist looked oddly at that syrup and those pills on the same prescription, saying that I should ask again how I’m supposed to take them, because the pills should make me spit stuff out and the syrup would make it impossible to do so, and dad had bought better cold medicine already. Admittedly, she couldn’t have known this last part, but she could have asked.
Since I mentioned the pharmacist, dad went to the pharmacy from that clinic to get the stuff, insisting to “get it done” even though I wanted to check the prices at the cheaper ones I knew first… And he spent a third more just because of that, the price of, say, a pizza, just because he insisted on getting the stuff, a part of it unnecessary anyway, from one place instead of another. He did stop at that, asking for the price of the things on my mother’s prescription and deciding against getting those or the one thing he had been prescribed from there when he saw the difference, knowing how much he usually spends for my mother’s stuff, but that just made me responsible for that additional expense, including, I state again, things which shouldn’t have been purchased in the first place. And no, I didn’t even touch that cough syrup, just waiting for the antibiotic to do its job, which started happening quickly, both the cough and the sinus infection going away after a few days, and with it having such a limited use, I doubt we’ll use it later either, so that was another expense which should have definitely been avoided.
Was furious after that, just shaking with anger, due to how the doctor treated me, having to take stuff I didn’t mean to take and feeling responsible for those expenses through no fault of my own. And then it got worse when I told dad in the evening that we should go and have that x-ray done right away, the next day, to see exactly how things stand before the treatment kicks in, and he said that since the doctor won’t be there the next day and she said to bring her the x-ray right away, there’s no point, and in fact I should want to delay it, just to give the treatment a few days to kick in and then see that things are good, so I won’t see that something’s wrong and then worry. So, again, proving those fundamental differences, and convincing me that I needed to go alone and have it done, which I tried and failed the next day, since that clinic required appointments despite what the doctor had said and I was told that they had no more spots that day either way. Did manage to catch a nap that evening though, despite the anger, waking up at 12:15 AM.

After having the x-ray done, which I wrote about in the previous personal post, on January 17 I woke up at 10 AM and we left at 10:45 AM, in case we’ll need to walk to the clinic. But we took the car after all, so we were there earlier than planned, and she had a look at the x-ray and said it looks quite fine, that I either still have or just had stuff in my lungs but there’s no bronchitis or any other serious problem. However, she was very condescending when I was trying to have a look at the x-ray as well, saying that I may be “a smart boy” but there’s nothing I could see there, that only those who know how to read an x-ray can, then asking what could I possibly see there when I nevertheless got up and had a closer look.
Still, since I was there, I mentioned the wax clogging my left ear for so long and that it had again gotten in a position that made me not hear with that ear just then, and even though she again dismissed what I was saying and insisted that it was also because of the flu, or I guess the sinus infection, and wrote a diagnosis related to that, the doctor handling these things knew what she was doing, so I went in quickly, without needing to wait, the procedure was free and I had both ears cleared, since she said the right one was in a similar state, though it didn’t bother me. She did speak oddly, seeming used to have children as patients, using a lot of diminutives and at the same time being very firm and trying to direct the behavior of the patients in every way while in her office, but she actually seemed to be a good doctor, and despite repeating her recommendations, for both me and dad, since he went there too, for a different issue, and not really accepting being talked back to, she also stressed that she’s just giving advice and it’s all the patient’s choice in the end. Still, it was odd when she put the stuff from my ear on my hand and then, after she gave me a tissue and I tried to wipe off the bit which had ended up on the chair too, she just said “no”, repeating, louder, when I just stared at her in confusion, then told me to throw it in a tray, again just saying “no” when I couldn’t find the tray in question and tried the trash can, then put something else in the trash can herself and seemed to pretty much forget about me for a moment when I did finally spot the tray.

Written by Cavalary on January 25, 2019 at 7:17 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: The Lady of the Lake

As I was saying about The Tower of the Swallow as well, The Lady of the Lake is often confusing, flitting between a patchwork of times and places, switching points of view, not giving the characters room and sometimes leaving the reader with something of a puzzle to put together. However, though there’s something to be said about the nice feast scene and the great sex scene that follows, perhaps the best example of this patchwork, Ciri hopping through worlds and times, is also where the book seems to really get going, being confusing and yet somehow right, and including emotionally intense moments.
The chapter about the Battle of Brenna was also quite impressive, though not for the depiction of the battle itself, and perhaps mainly for that bit at the end about the future of the healers. What follows, Stygga Castle, is a much smaller battle but better presented, more thrilling, and if you make some allowances for the bad guys exhibiting the sort of typical behavior that offers the heroes a chance to defeat them that they shouldn’t have, what I hoped to find in this book. And the aftermath can pack quite a punch. Then it’s back to jumping between times and places, yet it all paints a picture if you put it together… A desolate, depressing picture, which only gets worse in the final chapter.
Sapkowski mercilessly destroys his characters, those who die earlier being perhaps the lucky ones, and the survivors the most unfortunate. The world depicted sadly continues to accurately mirror our own, the way it turns out despite all the characters’ efforts, shunning and punishing them after all they have sacrificed, Evil that has rights and is taken into account in treaties, “progress” that is anything but, not because of conspiracies or secret plots, but because of the rotten, “simple and indeed universal traits” of people… There’s no place left for the heroes, they’re forced into lives that are not their own, leaving them disheartened, broken, mentally and physically, more or less lost… And then, of course, there’s the manner of death…

Rating: 4/5

Written by Cavalary on January 23, 2019 at 8:59 PM in Books | 0 Comments