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Ron Obvious

Profile Information

Name: Ron
Gender: Male
Home country: Middle Earth
Current location: Seattle
Member since: Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
Number of posts: 6,065

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

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?

Blade Runner for me

I always considered Chariots to be one of his weakest, actually.

I remember buying the soundtrack of the Blade Runner on an LP after I'd first seen the movie at the cinema. I was so excited when I got home and immediately played the track I most wanted to hear: Blade Runner Blues. I was mighty puzzled when the sounds of a fat guy vigorously blowing his nose started coming out of the speakerx.

I looked at the album cover again. It wasn't actually the real soundtrack. It was an orchestral rendition of the score by the New American Orchestra since (as I found out later) Vangelis refused to release it. Blade Runner Blues was played on a Flugelhorn.

It was great when the actual score came out 10 years later. There are also three bootleg versions around which contain tracks that are not on the official releases.
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