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Helping to Make Packages Again, Still Only on One Day

I had forgotten to check, but Monday I received an e-mail from Declic asking for volunteers to help that other NGO make packages again, in the same location. The first day was Tuesday, but after going out on Monday and coming back with 21 kg, albeit using the metro, it didn’t seem like a good idea to just get a few hours of sleep and then work in that manner the next day, so at night I filled the form and stated that I’ll be there Wednesday and Thursday, from 1 PM. But just as I was about to walk out the door Thursday I received an SMS, also from Declic, letting me know that they no longer needed volunteers, having finished, so this post will just be about Wednesday, when I even managed to get in bed a little before 4:30 AM, so I got a little more sleep before the alarm rang, at 10:30 AM. Then I rushed to clean what dad had left in the kitchen and got annoyed that he had left some goat milk with oats in the living room after getting back in the morning, and when he also woke up and said that the milk was sour, I told him that I’ll get myself something nice and ask him for the money that day, if he can afford to throw food away like that, especially since I had repeatedly reminded him about it.
Either way, I left at 12:05 PM and rushed, which seemed to be just about good enough even though I never jogged, since I was at that gate a couple of minutes after 1 PM, and that was after going the long way around, as you’re apparently supposed to, without even attempting to use that other route again, and also being stopped by the guard at that entrance and asked for my ID card, which had never happened before, so I didn’t even have my ID card with me and it’s a good thing that I quite recently managed to finally learn my ID card number as well, since he then asked for my name and ID series and number. However, that brief delay was followed be a longer one, since when I reached that gate I didn’t see anyone in that large warehouse where the packages used to be put together, so I went to the guard at the barrier, waited for him to finish with the other people who were there for other reasons, then asked him where to go and he came to show me, and also called Anastasia to ask her to open the gate. He had initially asked me to do so, but I told him that I didn’t have active credit, so he did it, even though simply shouting might have been enough, since the entrance to the warehouse that was used that day was right next to the fence, on the left. And the few others whom I had seen while trying to work up the courage to go to that guard were in front of that gate at that point as well, so we walked in together, at 1:10 PM.
Those others seemed to be a first group from another NGO, and the explanations Anastasia gave as we gathered around her were mostly for them, since as soon as she saw me she said that I work well and should help those making the packages for old people, while those from that NGO were to help with those that were going to be sent to Ukraine. However, after they went to work and I asked her to confirm that I should go to that other area of the warehouse, she changed her mind and told me to help those who were putting a part of the goods for Ukraine into bags, repeating that I work well, though I said that I wasn’t so sure about that… And I was even less certain after the guy whom I was supposed to help told me what to do, since he went through the process too quickly, the lists stuck to the walls were incomplete, and his method also struck me as more likely to lead to mistakes than the one he mentioned in passing was used by the woman who was doing the same thing.
Maybe I didn’t exactly leave a good impression when, after putting together a first bag while just following and copying him, I went to the table with things to drink and munch on, getting a tea in a small cup, since I couldn’t see any unused large ones left, a few small pretzels and a couple of biscuits, but after that I did mean to get to work… Only to prick a finger with a cutter almost right away, since I first wanted to cut open some boxes. And, while I initially wanted to continue, when I saw that I was bleeding I asked where I could wash and was told that disinfectant and band aids were also on that table, so I went back there, actually found them on a box, used them and then could finally start to actually work. I’d have wanted some latex gloves, especially after that problem, but I only saw a few used and discarded ones, so I just continued like that.
Well, when I say that I continued, I mean that I continued working, but not that I actually did what Anastasia had told me to do, since I think I was just on the second bag that I was putting together on my own, obviously still hesitating and checking everything repeatedly, to make sure that I wasn’t making mistakes while trying to find a rhythm, when that guy pointed out that the sugar had to be placed in a plastic bag first, in case the paper one would tear, and the ones which had already been bagged were about to finish, so he asked whether I could do that instead, since he had found his rhythm and didn’t want to have to keep breaking it for that. And that was actually a relief, since it took the responsibility of putting the correct number of each product into the bags off my shoulders, so I pretty much stayed there and bagged sugar, occasionally rushing to open some boxes or packages when I saw that it was needed, so the others won’t need to break their rhythm in order to do so… Even though that woman who was also putting products into those bags took away the cutter as soon as she saw me using it again, saying that she didn’t want me to cut myself again, so I just used my keys and hands, even if it took a little longer.
The problem was that two more groups from that NGO also arrived, and there were far too many people for me, and they were talking and moving too much and I found myself about to cry and shaking for reasons other than the cold. Soon enough it was bad enough that I was thinking to say that I had to go, or at least to take a break and find a place to hide and try to calm down a little, but what was obviously a very bad thing for what we had to do ended up being a good thing for me, since those newcomers seemed to have just rushed in with their own ideas about what should be done. One woman had attracted my attention as well, from the beginning, when she walked past me with a box with several pieces of each of the products while I was putting together those first couple of bags and said that they weren’t for taking when I reached in to take some, assuming that she was trying to create a few places to “resupply” more easily, and I later noticed that she was putting four times the required number of each product into a bag, obviously only being able to fit some of the products in there, and when I pointed that out she said that there were four boxes, even though putting the products into the boxes was a job that others had, and those of us from that side should just prepare the bag for them, so they’ll have the products from those categories for one box in one bag. By that point, people were saying that bags with the wrong products kept appearing, one brought back one bag and said that it was completely unusable, so I took a break from what I was doing to fix it, and eventually Anastasia asked those who were preparing the bags to stop and just leave that other woman to do it, while those on the other side were asked to stop moving the boxes, since they were cracking, and leave that to two guys.
It’s possible that the bag that I mentioned above was actually brought after I got back to work, but the announcement was made just when I was back at that table, having decided to take a break at 2:35 PM, so I reused the teabag, since I had set that small cup aside on top of a tall stack of boxes, to have another hot tea, that time in a large cup, after spotting a stack, munched on some more things and saw that some bananas had also appeared, so I had one of those as well. That break lasted for 15 minutes, during which time I was pretty much alone, so I calmed down to some extent, and holding that hot tea also helped my freezing hands… But the pizza was brought soon after I got back to work, so I finished what I was doing at the time, which might have been fixing that bag that I already mentioned, and at 3:05 PM I went back there, starting by somewhat hesitatingly taking one slice and ending up eating a total of eight, of various kinds. Put together, I think that meant two thirds of a pizza, though there is a chance that it actually meant one whole pizza. And I munched on some more sweets as well, and also had another large tea, though it was mostly hot water, since I yet again reused that teabag, only throwing it away after that. I was feeling rather bad for eating so much, and the fact that many others were crowded in that area definitely wasn’t helping, but I also felt that I had done my part, possibly even more so because I had done the tedious sort of work that others didn’t really care to do, and I was going to keep doing that, while plenty of the others had messed things up, and they were also leaving right after lunch. I actually heard someone comment that they came, ate and left, but I found myself thinking that it’d have been better if that’d have been all they did.
Either way, I got back to work at 3:25 PM and even though, at one point, that guy who had asked me to bag the sugar asked whether I wanted him to replace me for a while, in case I had gotten bored, I said that I didn’t and continued to bag the sugar and occasionally open boxes or packs until 4:35 PM, when I went to pee. An older man who had arrived later and ended up putting products into those bags asked about a toilet and Anastasia said that she’ll take him there because she also had to go, and she had an injured leg and was in a wheelchair, so she broke any awkwardness by asking him whether he’ll go with her to the bathroom in an amusing voice. Someone else asked how was she going to climb the stairs, but she said that there was another bathroom and will use her crutches, so I said that I had to go as well, took her crutches, since that man was pushing the wheelchair, and went with them, learning where what Anastasia said was the bathroom for truck drivers was, since that didn’t require climbing stairs. However, since she had left the remote for the gate with someone else, when we came back that man told me to shout at them to open the gate as he pushed her to it, which caused my anxiety to spike once again and I had to try several times until someone finally heard me, by which point I was feeling really embarrassed, that man had shouted at me to be louder more than once and had just started to walk towards me, and I think that Anastasia was about to call as well.
It was 4:50 PM when I got back to work one more time, after munching a few more sweets and having another tea, using a new teabag but finding that the water was just lukewarm, so it didn’t exactly help after the wind had made me freeze even worse while I was outside. Maybe that was one reason why I moved around a little more, paying more attention to the boxes and packs that needed to be opened and, eventually, also keeping an eye on what products were running out, so there was a moment when someone pointed out that more sugar will need to be bagged soon and I rushed back there… And ended up bagging much more than necessary, since multiple other products were running out and at 5:50 PM we were told to stop, at which point I started cleaning. After a little while I took another break, having another tea, using the same teabag and once again with lukewarm water, eating the last remaining banana and munching on some more sweets, in fact only leaving one or two biscuits in the box and one wafer in the pack that was opened, but then I continued to gather boxes and bags and discarded pieces until it seemed that nothing was left.
At that point, I asked Anastasia how much was still left to do and, after asking someone else how much had been loaded on the truck, she said that we should both count what was still there… And I ended up making it harder for her instead of helping, since I only understood what I should have actually counted after she moved on to the bags, so at first I was saying different numbers and she had to count the boxes again. But the conclusion was that only four bags still had to be filled, though the other question was how many of the others were incomplete and we also talked a little about which products had finished earlier and which were still available in large quantities. I only later realized that I never asked about the other packages, for old people, but since she didn’t say that she won’t need me to come again the next day, I assumed that there was still plenty of work to do.
I can’t really be sure, but at that moment it seemed that a woman who had arrived late was the only other actual volunteer who was still there, the others being from the NGO, plus a couple of Romstal employees who were taking away the recyclables. And when that woman said that she was going to leave and will take the bus, one of the employees offered to take her there and I went with them, leaving that warehouse just before 6:40 PM. But I assumed that the guy was going to drive us to the road, yet he just walked with us to a gate, which was closed at the time but which the guard opened for us, then pointed to the bus stop and walked back. And we had left that warehouse through the other exit, being taken to another gate and another road, so I had no idea where we were and it was rather fortunate that she had to take the bus in the other direction, so she needed the station that was on the other side of the road and said that she didn’t want to wait in the dark, so we kept walking together, looking for the next stop, and ended up at the road that I knew.

What I managed to post before midnight ended before the first break, and in fact even the end of that paragraph was added a couple of minutes later, with the paragraph about that first break and lunch, along with a couple of additions to what I had already posted, being added before I went to bed in the morning. That left a lot to add at a later time, but at least I finally managed to do so Thursday evening.

To continue, I reached Auchan at 7:10 PM, only finally putting on the mask which I had taken with me after going to the bathroom, then getting a few things for dad and having no problems with the self-checkout. And on the way back I also went to Carrefour, buying a bio (organic) “Greek” yogurt, which was what I had in mind when I had told dad that I was going to get myself something nice if he could afford to throw food away in that manner, and also some peanuts.
I got back at 8:50 PM, cleaned what was in the kitchen and removed the bad parts from a pretty spoiled quince for dad, ate the peanuts, and eventually went to the toilet and washed. I came out of the bathroom around 12:30 AM, but then I took it easy and ended up starting to eat dinner just after 3 AM, though I still finished at 3:40 AM.
In between, however, dad pissed me off even more. I had seen a t-shirt that looked like my good ones, which I’m yet to wear, in the living room while talking to him that evening, saying at that point that I also had t-shirts that looked like that, but moving on… Until I realized that the clothes hanger that it was on was the one that my t-shirts were on, checked the wardrobe before going to the bathroom and saw that they weren’t there. And when I asked, he said that he thought that they were my mother’s, and he had taken some clothes to her the previous day… And he had worn one of those t-shirts! And then he just said that it’s what happens if we don’t talk about clothes… Not that he ever remembers which are mine, regardless of how many times I tell him, but when I pointed that out he said that if I keep reminding him then there’s a chance that someday he’ll remember, while if I don’t, there’s none. But, in that particular case, he was looking for the clothes that mother had asked for before I went to wash two days earlier, I helped him look for something, he was still going through clothes when I came out of the bathroom, taking pictures and showing them to mother, to make sure that those were the ones she was asking for, but he never mentioned t-shirts to either of us, since if he’d have told her about them, she’d have told him that they weren’t hers… But then he apparently just decided to wear a t-shirt that he supposedly thought was hers when he went to her, didn’t tell her about it, didn’t show it to her, didn’t leave it there for her, but just came back with it on and then threw it in a pile, never mentioning it to anyone! And when I asked him, after coming out of the bathroom, to explain the mental process that led to that behavior, he cheerfully said that it just proves that he didn’t think, just acted on impulse, as he usually does.

Written by Cavalary on December 18, 2022 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: The Blacktongue Thief

A lot of thought and effort was obviously put into this book, and into the world, many elements being presented in great detail, including a few that aren’t commonly “customized” as part of fantasy worldbuilding. This gives the impression that the series should have a truly epic scale, and the complications, if I may use the term, added towards the end enhance that feeling, yet it doesn’t threaten to be crushing or overwhelming, Kinch’s first person presentation being enjoyable and including plenty of humor, which usually works, at least for me.
In spite of that, it seems far from realizing that potential. Of course, it’s possible that much of it is merely because it’s the first book in what’s intended as a series, but the author seems to try too hard, in both directions, in a book that’d have probably needed to be about three times the size for all of the information to come naturally, to be shown rather than told. As it is, much is forced upon the reader, the action being paused for a detailed explanation the first time the matter comes up. This tends to reduce the weight and the impact of the story, and Kinch’s lighthearted attitude makes it even worse, driving away that feeling of actually reading a personal account that a first person presentation should normally enhance. In addition, elements such as slang, other languages or different coins and currencies, which would have added flavor if there’d have been enough room for them, strike me as unnecessary complications under these circumstances, while on the other hand the number and the development of the characters is clearly insufficient for something intended as an epic tale. Then again, quite a number of times, especially when powerful magic is involved, it feels more like a fairy tale than actual epic fantasy, and that’s a style that I’m not fond of.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on December 17, 2022 at 4:46 PM in Books | 0 Comments

Planting Trees for the Second and Last Time This Autumn – II

To continue right from where the previous personal post left off, the ground really was soft and even I could dig easily, the few difficulties being caused by roots or stones, and even then I was able to get through without too much effort. On the other hand, it seemed that my teammate was going to be a problem, since she started by kicking the soil back into the hole, making me cut in and pretty much plant on my own as well, and then she said that she didn’t attend planting events last year because it required wearing a mask and she won’t do that, and when I said that I wore one even that day, on the bus, and I actually feel much better with one, considering my social anxiety, plus that, while I didn’t manage to avoid getting COVID-19, it helped me avoid any cold or flu for the past two and a half years, she said that she was pretty much bedridden for a total of about ten weeks during this period but kept refusing to wear a mask because she can’t breathe with it, rather incredulously asking whether I was vaccinated and adding that she didn’t wear a mask even when it was required to do so even outdoors and threatened to sue the gendarmes who wanted to fine her, so she got away with just a warning. And she’d have probably continued along those lines, since she said that nobody can take away her right to breathe, but I rather angrily said that we’d better end that conversation because if I’ll say what I think of those with her behavior it’ll get ugly and she stopped, just muttering that she wasn’t sure how it even started.
The situation was obviously pretty awkward at that point, and there was also the fact that she asked me to take a picture with her phone while she also dug a hole and I thought that I had taken four but had in fact only taken one and it probably wasn’t good, since she asked me to take another. I can’t quite recall whether that was before or after that conversation, but it made me feel embarrassed. So it was a relief when she asked whether I’ll mind if she went to get herself another hot tea, since she was freezing… And then stayed away long enough for me to start wondering whether she’ll come back at all, since the fact that she had been freezing wasn’t surprising, seeing as I had barely started to warm up a little by the time she left, after digging several holes, while she had been mostly standing around, but taking so long to have a tea was harder to explain.
I was actually a little disappointed when she did come back… And then didn’t know what to think when she left again mere minutes later, after receiving a call, saying that she had to get someone who had just arrived by car. But I was definitely frustrated when she came back with that guy, since I had just planted my 19th tree and he took the shovel and started digging while she seemed to want to plant, so I ended up sort of standing around and, while it was fair for them to take over, I was worrying that I won’t even get to 20. But that guy was digging quickly and another guy went past us while digging really large holes even faster, his family being unable to keep up with him and plant in them, so I could keep planting while my initial teammate did the same. And she and that guy also took another break, and there was another shovel as well, so I could also dig some more holes and keep working until I decided to slowly make my way back to the starting area, for lunch. I remember thinking that I had certainly planted at least 30 trees by then.
It was still early, so I didn’t want to stop, even though I was tiring, but others had started walking away even before noon and lunch started to be served around that time, without an actual announcement, people just being able to grab the bags and eat, so fewer and fewer were left around me and I was starting to worry that I’ll end up having to rush to eat, so I eventually stopped working, waited for the sign to be placed in that area, took a picture, and then hesitatingly made my way down to the path, checking the time on my way to that starting area and seeing that it was only 12:40 PM. Then I peed and struggled to use one of those portable things to wash my hands to some extent, had another hot tea, grabbed an apple and a banana, since those were also being offered, keeping the apple but eating the banana, and finally asked for lunch at 1 PM. It seems like the first bag that I was given didn’t actually contain what it should have contained, but I don’t know what was missing, since the guy who gave it to me noticed that something was wrong, looked inside and gave me another one right away… And seconds later, as I was trying to decide where to sit, we were called for a group picture, so I rushed there with the bag, hiding it behind my back.
The coordinator was talking to those who had offered lunch just when I finished eating, so I went to her and asked how much time we still had to plant, mentioning that the schedule had stated that we were going to work until 4 PM after she asked whether I wanted to leave. She then said that she does notice that there’s quite a lot of enthusiasm left in those who got back to work, but many already left or wanted to, so we’ll probably stop at 2 PM, so I checked the time, saw that I had less than half an hour, grabbed another apple and said that I was going to rush back and plant a little more during that time, which made her give me a rather bewildered look.
At 1:40 PM I was back to work, rejoining my teammates and that other guy and rushing to get a little more done, but it wasn’t long before the coordinator came and said that she was trying to assess the situation, because the small bus had already filled and left and many of the remaining volunteers who had arrived by bus also wanted to leave, so she wanted to find a compromise between them and those of us who wanted to keep working, and when the others also reminded her that we were supposed to work until 4 PM and said that 3:30 PM should be a good enough compromise, she said 3 PM in a tone that didn’t really allow for further arguments. However, considering how few of us were still working, it didn’t look like we were going to even finish our area by then, and the guy who knew what he was doing had said earlier that we shouldn’t leave empty spots, and also that there was another area that we could start working on after we’ll finish that one, so after it had initially seemed like we’ll plant a lot more than planned, it suddenly looked like we were going to fall short.
Well, even though that guy also joined us at that point, we ended up falling short by even more than expected, because at 2:30 PM the coordinator returned and said that a group was already at the bus and it included a woman with a small child, so we supposedly had to show understanding and leave. That prompted that guy who knew what he was doing to say that we should at least try to finish that patch that we were working on at that point, and the guy from that family stayed just a little longer to help him, but I stopped, realized as I was walking away that I didn’t really have pictures clearly showing the planted trees among those taken that day and quickly took a last one, then went to pee and struggled to wash my hands one more time, grabbed another bottle of water from the truck, since they had pretty much gathered everything by that point, and finally made my way to the bus, with the man from that family rushing behind me, the two of us apparently being the last ones left, since the driver was rather impatiently waiting outside the bus and drove away at 2:45 PM, barely a couple of minutes after we got on. And in fact only about 15 people were on that bus, meaning that the rest had left after having lunch, with the small bus and cars, since at one point there was an announcement about free seats being available in someone’s car. Either way, with nobody sitting next to me, I put my mask back on, took my time to arrange everything in the backpack and take out what I’ll need after getting back, and then got back to reading.

We were dropped off back at Opera Square just before 4:05 PM and I decided to walk to Carrefour Orhideea, not bothering to take the metro for a single stop. And after getting there I went to the toilet and tried to clean myself a little after peeing, including getting the worst of the dirt off the jacket’s sleeves. Then I actually could put the backpack in a cabinet, the guard locking it and giving me the number, according to that annoying system that they have there, and I just got some bread for dad, finding that it was cheaper there than anywhere else and using the self-checkout without problems.
After retrieving my backpack, I took the metro to Unirii, to also check that Carrefour, putting my things in a cabinet and grabbing some expiring pancakes and seven eggs. The price of the eggs sold by piece had increased by over a third since the start of the month, but the price of eggs had exploded in general, the packaged ones were obviously even more expensive, we were running out and dad had already bought two from this nearby store, at a price that was over a third higher than the new price from Carrefour, so even though I couldn’t find any uncracked bio (organic) ones in the crate and I was also going to Obor after that, I wanted to have something, in case I won’t find any there, and just grabbed some with code one, even if they weren’t even large.
After retrieving my things, I took the metro to Obor, first going to Auchan, putting my things once again in a cabinet, and getting a few products, including another cabbage… Which created a problem. The listed price was still the low one which I had seen three days earlier, but at the scales I saw an even lower one, so I assumed that they wanted to get rid of them faster, since it was hard to find a better one among the pile. However, at the checkout, the price was the listed one, which resulted in a baffling conversation with the cashier, probably caused by the stress she was under, being the only one on duty at the time. I pointed out the problem, showing her the label printed by the scales and what showed up on her screen, only for her to say that she didn’t understand what the problem was, because the product had scanned at a lower price than the listed one! So, as I asked multiple times whether 2.51 was lower than 2.26, or whether 51 was lower than 26, to make it even simpler, she became increasingly ironic, saying that she may be going crazy and it may be a long time since she finished school, but that’s what she seems to remember from math classes. And people were waiting in line and I couldn’t get myself to cause even more of a delay for that small amount, so I eventually just paid. But then I went straight to the information desk… Only to find that unmanned as well, and when the guard asked whether I wanted someone to sell me cigarettes and I told him that I wanted to ask about a price difference, he asked whether I wanted to return a product and called for a cashier for a return through the radio even though I repeated that I just wanted to ask a question. And since the only cashier seemed to be the one who had caused the problem, and she obviously couldn’t leave anyway, I just gave up. I later sent a complaint on-line, but there was no reply.
After retrieving my things and arranging the purchases a little, I continued to Carrefour, again put everything in a cabinet… And found a whole lot of eggs sold by piece, including bio (organic) ones and some particularly large ones with code one. So I spent quite a lot of time searching through them, during which time an older man also came and when I moved aside he asked about the price, looking at it but having a hard time believing it. Then he also asked what I was looking for, how do I tell the bio ones apart and what’s the difference between those and the rest, and eventually asked whether I had set those particularly large ones aside for myself and got them after I said no and moved the bio ones away from them, saying that those were the ones which I had set aside for myself, since I had only started by setting those large ones aside in case I won’t find bio ones. So I ended up getting eight of those as well, plus a couple of other things… But the self-checkout had the cash button grayed out when I tried to pay, even though it was one of the two machines that should have accepted cash, so I called an employee over and he spared me from having to scan my purchases again by making the machine release the receipt and then entering its number in the other one, which worked, saying that the first one was probably out of change. And I paid 10 RON by card, since I still wanted to have a little cash left for Kaufland.
After once again retrieving my things and arranging them a little, I yet again put them in a cabinet when I got to Kaufland, peed and washed my hands one more time, and entered the store just after 9:35 PM… Only to see the sugar that my mother wants in the spot for the one that had the special discount those days. The picture was of a different kind, and it was like that in the catalog as well, and when I took one to a price checker it displayed the full price, but my mother had been asking us to look for sales for that sugar and to buy a lot of it if we’ll find any, so I didn’t want to give up that easily and asked an employee as well, and he said that it was indeed the one that was on sale, though after I said that it had scanned at the full price and asked whether that meant that the discount applied at checkout, he hesitated to confirm. Still, the discounted price was supposed to apply for up to ten, so I grabbed an entire pack, since there are ten of them in one, then added a few other things, including something nice which I found among the expiring products, and was just getting the yogurt as well when it was announced that the store had closed. Then I rushed to the self-checkout, confirmed that the discount for the sugar did apply, and figured out how to partially pay by card there as well, using the little cash I had left for the difference, to still only withdraw an amount that’s divisible by 10 RON, to be able to put it back at an ATM. Then I retrieved my things one last time and took quite a while, both inside and after finally walking out, to arrange everything, finally walking away just before 10:20 PM… And having the machine give an error on the first attempt to read the metro card, after reaching the station. But it worked when I tried again, so I didn’t have to show the card to the cashier after all.
I got back here at 11 PM, having carried just over 26 kg, fortunately only to and from the metro, since the ten kilograms of sugar were also unbalancing me, being placed in a single bag. Some details become less clear after that, since I’m writing this over two weeks later, but I know that I ate that nice expiring thing from Kaufland and I have notes listing some times, so I can say that it was almost 12:20 AM when I went to the bathroom, probably also using the toilet before washing. I was back in the kitchen at 1:15 AM, but there was a lot to do, so it was 2:30 AM when I had some of those pancakes, only finally started making the salad at 2:50 AM and, after deciding to slice a bread for dad as well, started to eat dinner at 4:05 AM. I’m not sure when I finished, but it was most probably at 4:45 AM or 4:50 AM, and then it was 5:20 AM when I went to bed. But at least I slept really well.

Written by Cavalary on December 11, 2022 at 9:05 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – The Christmas Chronicles

This is supposed to be a rerelease of Holiday Hare 98, the notable difference in single player being that Lori is added as a playable character, but if I ever played a Jazz Jackrabbit game it was probably only for a few minutes and almost certainly not one of these “specials”, so it’s my first actual experience with it and I just finished its three levels with Spaz, whose double jump makes him so much better at platforming that trying to use the others felt like choosing the hard mode, and I don’t see how they could even reach all the places.
It’d have been frustrating if I’d have had to just rely on the checkpoints, as it’d have likely meant missing some areas and taking a long time to finish, if I’d have even finished it at all, considering how quickly the end boss initially wiped away the six lives I had accumulated by then, so it was such a relief to see that you can save anywhere. Otherwise, it’s pretty much what I’d expect from a platformer of that time, just with a Christmas theme and probably intended to be on the easy side.
However, since I mentioned saving, it’s strange and rather annoying that the selected weapon seems to change whenever you save or load. But at least you can plan for that, once you realize that it’s happening, what’s more frustrating, especially early on, being the fact that when you first pick up a new weapon it’s automatically switched to. And another issue is that you can’t store over 99 shots for any weapon, and since picking up ammunition also grants points, you’ll eventually need to waste shots just to be able to pick up more. And then there’s the matter of the hidden items, some requiring you to know where they are without really having a way to find them on your own. And you also need to either already know or just happen to stumble upon the the characters’ special abilities, since they’re not explained in the game, though the basics are.

Written by Cavalary on December 6, 2022 at 2:17 PM in Gaming | 0 Comments

Quick Review: A Gift of Faeries and Firekin

This is just a sweet, heartwarming short story, most probably taking place shortly after the end of Soulkeeper. There’s little else to say about it, but it is nice that Puffy is the one who comes up with the idea and does a good part of the work, displaying some more of his abilities and personality, since in the book he was almost discarded as an active character after being brought to Devin’s home. On the other hand, while not doing so is understandable, especially from Puffy’s point of view, something could have been added for Tommy and Adria as well.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on December 4, 2022 at 11:54 PM in Books | 0 Comments