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Ron Obvious

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: Seattle
Member since: Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
Number of posts: 2,435

About Me

I got the nickname Ron Obvious because -- in addition to being a huge Python fan -- my name really is Ron and I used to start sentences with \"Obviously\" a lot. Obviously, that\'s no longer a problem.

Journal Archives

Fuck you and your fucking Chrome!

I've just had to uninstall Google Chrome for about the 20th time.

I was nagged into upgrading my Flash and must've ignored a checkbox and had Chrome shoved down my throat again. AGAIN. I'm happy with my browser (Opera), thank you very much, and if I wanted another browser I wouldn't chose one that's so closely associated with a company that makes its living by spying on everything I do online.

Do no evil, my arse. If there's one company in a position to do incredible evil, it's fucking Google. Now I hear they want to manage my medical records as well. Do not want!

Sorry, we now return you to your regularly scheduled cat videos. As you were.

Can anyone recommend good password management software?

In the wake of this latest SSL security hole, I'll be changing all my passwords next week and I might as well bite the bullet and use a password manager because I can't really keep up any more (see cartoon below)


Preferably free and open source
Runs on Windows
Easy to use
Must allow logins from multiple computers, but I do NOT want anything cloud or server-based! I want all files local. This would presumably mean sharing a master password file.
Must be flexible wrt different password parameters, e.g. some servers don't allow punctuation or spaces, others require them.
Store PIN codes as well.

I've never used one, so I'm open to all suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

Ralph's Bakshi's Wizards (1977)

Despite its anti-science and technology bias, I've always had a secret fondness for Ralph Bakshi's 1977 animated (and rotoscoped) movie Wizards, and especially its soundtrack. I found out a few days ago that the soundtrack, with its eclectic mix of seventies' funk and small, wistful tunes, was finally released on CD last year.

It came in the post this morning and I've finally been able to enjoy listening to it after all this time.

Made my day!

Shame he made such a mess of LOTR a few years later. Ugh!

Sometimes I feel like screaming and punching people in the face.

Oh, not for any good reason or anything. I just like screaming and punching people in the face a lot.

What's your browser of choice?

I've been a Firefox man from the beginning but I can't deny that it's become a bit of a memory pig lately. The extensions, I'm running 12 of them, share in the blame I have no doubt. I also don't like their changes and attitude to complains about those changes.

I just recently bought a new laptop and experimented a bit. I thought Chrome was a bit too minimalist for my liking (hey, I like having a refresh button!), but I utterly resent having it install bundled with other packages without my consent (flash, avast, I'm looking at you!), and it's too closely tied to a company that makes money spying on me (google).

Opera is my new browser of choice. I'm running it with just two extensions, Adblock Plus and Ghostery, and it's been a dream. Fast, responsive and it works everywhere. I'm sticking with it.

What's your browser of choice?

Made an ass of myself the other day.

The person ahead of me in line at the bank needed special help, and the teller suggested she needed to see Joe. Trying to catch his attention she shouted "hey Joe!", but Joe was busy with something else.

So everyone in the bank started shouting "hey Joe!", until Joe finally noticed and started walking over to the customer.

I sang "Where you going with that gun in your hand?"

He froze and looked terrified. Everyone in the bank did. The security guard put his hand on his weapon and everyone stared at me with fear and hostility.

Fuck me, hasn't everyone heard of Jimi Hendrix anymore? I feel like I don't belong in this world any longer sometimes.

So don't make jokes about guns in banks, people.

I've failed 5 CAPTCHAs in a row

On my new Lenovo laptop. Clearly I'm non-human or, at the very least, a drooling, senile old half-wit.

Broadband Speedtest redux

Somebody posted a link here to test your internet speed a few weeks ago, and I got disturbingly low 5/5 Mb/s up and down despite all the mails I'd received from Comcast lately claiming they'd upgraded my speed again.

It bugged me enough to investigate and after I determined that my ancient router and cable modem were the problem, I ordered new equipment. It arrived yesterday, and running the same test now I got:

Better than 94% of the country, woohoo!

So, thanks to the person who posted that link here!

My appliances are talking to me again

By which I mean that I hear "things" in white noise sounds.

No, I'm not off my meds again -- I've had this happen most of my life on and off. It's probably fairly common, no stranger than seeing faces in clouds. I'm going through a strong phase of it now, though, and it's distracting.

Usually it's singing. Last night I kept hearing some sort of doo-wop singing with the AC on. It's very repetitive and it's just beyond my ability to quite make it out.

Just now, while (electrically) shaving, I heard some sort of ethnic chanting "hey-owie-hey-o-ayie-oweo". Over and over again.

I hear something like Viennese Waltz music in my white noise generator. I wish I could write it down, it's pretty good, though, again, repetitive.

Anyone else "suffer" from this? Know any tricks to make it stop?

Don't worry, If my blender starts suggesting homicide, I'll see someone about it.

A strange encounter with a believer.

This happened many years ago, but for some reason I started thinking about it again recently.

I was living in a large apartment complex and went out early one Sunday morning to collect a week's worth of mail from the mailbox. The communal mailbox area was deserted except for a young hispanic woman I'd never seen before. She seemed agitated. She had her eyes shut tight, was clutching her cross necklace, and she was praying over and over again. It was in Spanish and nearly inaudible, but I think I caught the name "Jesus" a few times.

I walk pretty quietly and she never heard me coming until I was just a few feet from her.

She gasped and opened her eyes in wide amazement. I thought I'd frightened her and wanted to apologise, but she spoke first:

"Are you the archangel Gabriel?", she asked in a thin voice.

Now, as I said before, this was long ago and I was considerably younger and better-looking than I am now, but this was nevertheless a real WTF moment that left me rather gobsmacked.

"Uhm, no", I managed.

"But are you religious?", she demanded.

"I'm afraid not. I don't think I really believe in God", I said, considerably milder than I would ordinarily have answered that question.

"Oh, I believe in God. But he don't believe in me", she said. And she looked so sad, lost, and frightened.

I felt awkward and didn't know what to say. I waited for a bit to see if she wanted to say more, but she didn't. We exchanged some trivial remarks for a minute or two.

"Well, gotta go", I said.

She looked at me desperately, and said "You really are the archangel Gabriel, aren't you?"

I looked her straight in the eye and said "Yes, child, I am."

She let out another gasp and then all the tension seemed to drain out of her body and and she looked visibly relieved as I turned and walked away.

Back in my apartment I felt absolutely awful. Why had I said that? I never even thought before my reply. Was it just an impulsive act of kindness? Or was it a real dick thing to do to a desperate, possibly mentally-ill woman? Why had I not simply asked her what was wrong and asked her if she needed help? Probably because the whole situation was so awkward and uncomfortable. I certainly wasn't mocking her in any way.

I went out there again about half an hour later.

She was gone. I never saw her again.

This is a true story, but I never told it to anyone. Too ashamed, I suppose. Sometimes I think I told her what she really wanted and needed to hear and maybe it helped. Other times I think behaved horribly.

Religious people, answer me honestly: was that a terrible thing to do? I'm not looking to salve my conscience or looking for validation. It was a long time ago, so don't spare my feelings.

Also, what is the significance of the archangel Gabriel in (presumably) Catholicism? Is it a clue to her state of mind? Is he often portrayed as a scruffy lout in a Hawaiian shirt?
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