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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

LOTR extended scene: the passing of the elves

This scene is on the extended DVD release of The Fellowship of the Ring but not in the theatrical cut.

I think that's such a shame. It's only a minute and a half long, and - in my opinion - it captures the spirit of Tolkien's world better than anything I can recall from the cinematic release.

I don't know why, but it makes me sad...

The Flower Duet

This is the Flower Duet from Lakme by the composer Delibes. You might recognise it as the soundtrack to a recent British Airways commercial.

This moment of grace and beauty was brought to you by your local cynical, flint-hearted jerkoff who can be brought to tears and ecstasy by this sort of thing.

Mormons at the door...

This morning I was rudely awakened from a lovely erotic dream involving a young Cybill Shepherd by a persistent knocking on the front door.


I responded in my customary considerate and kindly fashion:

"No! Fuck Off!" *SLAM!!!*

I would have reacted more forcefully but I believe it's still a misdemeanor in some jurisdictions to shoot Mormon missionaries and Jehovah witnesses on your doorstep.

Before you respond with a story about how you answer the door in the nude, or invited them in to join you in a Satanic mass, I should warn you that I disbelieve 99% of such stories.

I was actually a little bit surprised. It's been years since one of them knocked on our door, and while I'd spotted dozens of them in the neighbourhood recently, I thought they must've marked our door with some sort of invisible sigil in order to avoid wasting time at our unkempt and weed-infested hovel.

Apparently it wore off.

But it did set me wondering. Why do they all look alike so much? They're all young white males (naturally), but they're all slightly pudgy, between 5'8" and 6'1" in height with a pasty complexion and an innocent facial expression.

Where are the tall Mormons? The obese ones and the rail-thin ones? Where are the bronzed ones, the naughty-looking ones, the wheelchair-bound ones, the midgets, the women and the minorities? Does the church keep them in reserve, or are you not allowed to participate in a mission if you don't conform to the stereotype?

I wonder about these things.

My mother...

My mother's been gone for years now and I sometimes even have a hard time recalling her face and voice exactly. Fortunately, I have stacks of pictures and slides to help with the former.

I think my mother was rather an attractive, even glamorous woman. Sadly, every picture I have of her shows her with one of those damn cigarettes that almost certainly contributed to her early death from a heart attack in her hand.

There were probably other contributing factors as well, of course, such as the sudden death of my eldest sister, but if it hadn't been for those cigarettes, I'm sure we would have had her around a bit longer.

That realisation makes for melancholy viewing today, on Mother's day. I think I'll pour a glass of wine and go to bed.

Calvin and Hobbes

Damn, I swear that Bill Watterson knew me when I was a kid sometimes...

Any fans of Bill Bryson's book "A Walk in the Woods" here?

Bill Bryson is one of my favourite writers. Some of his books, like his travelogues (The Lost Continent, Notes from a Small Island, Neither Here nor There), are laugh-out-loud hilarious, but he has also written interesting popular general science books (A Short History of Nearly Everything), light and funny memoirs (The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid), and books about the English language (The Mother Tongue, Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Made in America).

I first discovered him through "A Walk in the Woods", in which he and his old boyhood friend Katz, now middle-aged, attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, a travelogue which is both funny and poignant in places.

While browsing on imdb the other day, I happened on this. Apparently Robert Redford bought the rights to the book some years ago, and is casting himself as Bryson and Nick Nolte as Katz. It's currently being filmed and will be released in 2015 if it all comes off. Off-hand, I'd say Redford is too old to play the middle-aged Bryson, but I can certainly see Nick Nolte as Katz.

I'm looking forward to seeing it if it comes off.

I encountered a mother bear and her two cubs on my bike ride today.

I apologise in advance for the extreme crappiness of the included pictures. All I had with me was my ancient phone with its 0.5 kilopixel camera and foggy lens.

I was riding my bike in the Cascade Mountains and passed within touching distance of a brown bear sitting by the side of the trail, munching greens. I had already just about passed her when I realised what I was seeing. I got off the bike at a safe distance and watched her for a while. She knew I was there but didn't seem concerned about it. A minute later, two cubs joined her and I retreated a bit further, ready to flee should it prove necessary.

They all eventually crossed onto the trail, sat down in the middle and sunned themselves for a while. The cubs looked at me with interest, but momma bear snarled at them to mind their own business and to ignore the weirdo.

Quite a while later, she hurled an opprobrious epithet in my direction and the family walked off into the woods, the cubs looking -- did I imagine it? -- whistfully at me, as though they would've wanted to get to know me better.

The whole encounter lasted nearly twenty minutes and during that whole time I had them all to myself. That makes today about a million percent better than any day I ever spent at work.

God, I love living in the Pacific Northwest!

If your Windows computer doesn't recognise your Android phone...

After (accidentally) upgrading my Windows 8 laptop to Windows 8.1, it no longer recognised my ancient Android G1 as external storage. I already had that problem with my main Windows 7 desktop, but was now forced to confront the issue.

The following steps worked on Windows 7 (x64) and Windows 8.1 (x64) machines when connected to a Cyanogenmodded G1 running Froyo. I'm throwing it out here in case it might help anyone else. Googling didn't find me the solution, but that might be me, or maybe this is an unusual situation.

With the phone connected on USB (but not mounted), go to the control panel, open up both Device Manager AND Devices and Printers.

On Device Manager, do you see "ADB Interface", and on Devices and Printers, do you see "Android Phone" under "Unspecified"? You might have the same problem I did.

On Device Manager, expand "ADB Interface", right-click on the phone model, properties, driver tab, and click "Uninstall". Check "Delete the driver software for this device" and hit OK. Unplug and plug the phone back in.

Notice that ADB Interface did not get re-added under Device Management, but on your Devices and Printers screen, you now have "Android Phone" listed under devices. On your phone, select "Mount" or "Turn on USB storage".

Voila, it now recognises the drive. A quick perusal of Device Manager suggests that the system is now using native Windows USB storage drivers instead.
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