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Odd behavior: same entry/exit node + more

I've noticed some strange behavior with Tor *client* use lately when
running both the stable and alpha builds, without any manually
inserted torrc file (using the default torrc file) restrictions in

- A. Same Entry/Exit Node -
: Web browsing speed suddenly increases as if Tor wasn't running at
all - a quick check reveals an entry node displayed in netstat is also
the currently used exit node! When the exit node changes the speed
drops back down to what it was before, slow but typical considering
the project's purpose and so forth.
:: Why does this happen? Should there not be some internal check in
place to disallow an entry node from simultaneously becoming an exit

- B. The Same Five Through Ten Exit Nodes Being Used -
: I can browse for hours and watch the same IPs used as exit nodes
cycle, often with the problem mentioned in A. occurring at random.

- C. Entry Nodes Sending Pings Back Or Other Attempts To Access My System -
: Why and what for?

- D. Directory Related Errors: We stalled too much while trying to
write, etc., type Directory -
: Is my directory of nodes being trimmed down somehow by someone or
something? Or does this have a meaning of a different sort? I notice
this error once or twice every Tor run, at least.