Hi! I’m Felipe, and I’m an addict

ALL TOGETHER NOW: Hi, Felipe!

Thank you. To cut straight to the chase, I’m an addict of YouTube. This is a relatively new addiction that only began in the last year. Before then, like so many others, I was a casual user, but now it’s affecting my life, a classic sign of addiction.

Before, I just smoked it. Now I inject it.

acastro_180403_1777_youtube_0001.0What makes YouTube so compelling is that it’s visual, and you can find virtually everything on the website. While the internet as a whole is the Library of the World, YouTube is the Library of the Visual World.

Want to watch last night’s Tucker Carlson show? Want to watch everyday people walking the streets of London in 1901? With original sound?

Want to watch Hermann Göring in full Nazi regalia, including a swagger stick, shortly after being captured and strolling a sidewalk on a sunny afternoon in Germany and chatting amiably with a U.S. Army officer?

A young Tom Cruise channeling Bob Seegar in Risky Business? Or the real answer to why there is no Palestinian state? Scientists explaining why there is no cause for climate alarmism? Jesse Pinkman’s first shot of heroin in Breaking Bad? (The best drug depiction I’ve ever seen.) Or Jax Teller’s death ride in Sons of Anarchy?

Concerts, travel, history, it’s all there to see in color or black & white.

I’m glued to my desk, which is why I’m here today. I need help! I suppose the first step is to find a sponsor. Who will hold my hand?

Sadly, YouTube is owned by Google, a thuggish arm of the political left. Dodging anything related to Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., is an endless goal of mine on general principles. But my addiction has kept me hooked on YouTube. Addictions do that.

Ask Jesse Pinkman.

Let’s look at browsers. Google’s Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, and there is a reason for that. It is very, very good. But the principled among us know it should be avoided. Doing so can be darn difficult.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried scads of alternatives. Firefox (not much better if you want to dodge the thuggish left), Opera, Vivaldi, Edge (meh), Yandex, Maxthon, Comodo Dragon, Comodo IceDragon, SeaMonkey, Avant, Midori, Puffin, Pale Moon, even Dissenter.

They work to varying degrees. Sometimes they work fine, and then they don’t. None work as well as Chrome. However, recently I found this:

Brave: a better mousetrap

Brave was born in 2015, the brainchild of Brandon Eich, one of the founders of Mozilla (Firefox). In 2014, he was the CEO of Mozilla, and then he did something politically incorrect. He let it be known he opposes gay marriage.* Oh, dear!

Adiós, Eich! Don’t let the door smack you on your way out, you Nazi homophobe. And we don’t want to hear any of your mea culpas! Will people never learn apologizing to the left not only does not work, it is counterproductive? It digs your hole deeper.

New ImageFirefox’s loss was our gain. He co-founded Brave. I tried Brave a couple of years ago, and found it lame, not ready for prime time, and it wasn’t. I never returned till a few weeks ago, and what a surprise. It’s Chrome-like, and you can use Chrome extensions. It’s also easy to import Chrome bookmarks, etc.

It’s very much like Chrome, but better. Better than Firefox too.

So, at least in this, I have freed myself from Google. One small step for a Gringo, one giant leap, yada, yada. Brave rightly brags that it’s “safer, faster and ad-free.”

I remain hooked on YouTube, however. I need help! Sad.

* * * *

* So do I, by the way. Let’s stick to civil unions. All the legal rights but without the “marriage” word, which makes many people cringe. Just dodge the word.

Hacienda doings

BEEN QUIET of late, so here’s what’s happening.

As I write this around 9 a.m. Saturday, I’m waiting for Abel the Deadpan Yardman to arrive for the weekly lawn trim. For a few days it looked like the rainy season had wound down, but Thursday we were deluged with torrents and hail.

Enough already!

* * * *

Soon, for a few days, we’ll be in Mexico City tending to chores related to having an apartment there, dusting, sweeping, paying bills. The visit will end the longest spell we’ve not done this since we “moved in” over a decade ago.

Eight months of absence.

We were planning, as usual, to visit the first week of September, but we held off for some reason I don’t recall. This was fortunate because we would have been sleeping in our fourth-floor bedroom when the first quake hit.

Let’s wait a month, we decided.  Then, two weeks later, the larger quake hit. Growing more apprehensive, we delayed again. So, in a few days more … with our fingers crossed.

If we don’t survive, know that I’ve enjoyed interacting with you — well, some of you. Most remain mum — these 12 years.

* * * *

I have a tip regarding the internet.

I’ve used all the major browsers and some lesser-known ones too. I like to experiment, plus I have all the free time in the world. You know the biggies, Chrome, Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Opera’s fairly big too, used mostly by Europeans.

Opera is excellent, by the way.

serveimageI’ve also tried Brave, Yandex, Vivaldi and others that I’ve forgotten. But recently I hit the jackpot with a browser I’d never heard off. I found it on a list of ten-best for 2017. It was right there in the middle.

Maxthon.

Had it been my list, I would have put it at the top. It is clean, logical, fast and good-looking (looks count!). There is a fast-responding user forum if you need it.

Copying photos off the web requires one click! Maxthon is full of fun surprises, and it’s superior to all the biggies.

One particular item I like is its password saver. Most browsers include their own password saver, but they don’t seem serious about it. Maxthon’s is locked tighter than the proverbial drum, but is also incredibly easy to use. This means you don’t have to mess with Dashlane, Lastpass and their ilk.

Maxthon was born in 2003, and it’s the brainchild of Chinamen. Now it’s headquartered in San Francisco, California, not China.

No charge for this tip.

(An internet amiga is still using Netscape!)

* * *  *

My child bride began the process last Tuesday of getting four tooth implants. A few weeks ago, I ended the same process with only one implant. She is something of a dental sissy, and we’ve had lots of drama since Tuesday.

The immediate aftereffects of having four posts pushed into her jaws have calmed a bit by this morning, and we’re both happy for that. She returns to the dentist next Thursday. I don’t know what for, and neither does she.

A checkup, one imagines.

Usually, a three-month wait follows the post insertions. Then the new teeth are screwed into the posts. Currently, her posts sport temporary teeth.

My temp tooth fell off twice in the first month, so I just passed the next two months looking like a Caribbean pirate.

Modern dental technology is amazing and, of course, it costs far less here than it does above the Rio Bravo.

Another great reason to live in Mexico.

* * * *

And that’s all the news for this morning.