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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: 3,005

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

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.

Dispute with a contractor: Am I unreasonable?

Some months ago, as part of a series of jobs, I had a contractor install some outdoor security lights. During this installation, both bathroom floor-heating thermostats got fried (smoked and blackened). We let them install replacement thermostats and everything is working fine now.

When they presented the bill, it merely had two items: parts & labour. I didn't trust them and asked them for a breakdown of the parts, which they finally came up with. Sure enough: they included the thermostats in the bill. I paid them in full, minus the cost of the thermostats, and included a note which said that I thought it was a lot of nerve to ask us to pay for something they broke.

Ever since, I've been getting daily harassments through the phone and email telling us to pay our bill in full. They claim the system was "wired wrong" and that's why the thermostats got fried.

Now, I'm a reasonable person, but I'm just flabbergasted at the unmitigated gall of these people. How could any reasonable person expect us to have to pay? Seriously?

I've complained to the Better Business Bureau, but the company has just changed names. That's another warning sign, in my opinion.

I'm not worried about it. I've stared down bullies before, but I've never been a situation before where I couldn't even begin to understand the other side's point of view.

Any thoughts or recommendations other than slamming them on every review site?

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.

I have a friend who eats what he wants and never gains an ounce.

As someone who has to count every calorie, it's maddening to watch. He can just pig out and not worry about it and he won't gain an ounce.

Day after day, he can have soda, beer, ice cream, pizza and burgers and he knows his weight will stay exactly the same: 450 pounds.

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?

Blimey, who knew?!

I had NO idea penguins even KEPT a history of the world...

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