Archive for July, 2007

links for 2007-08-01

Excuses

Today at lunch, I overheard a woman tell her lunch partner that she “doesn’t have time to read books.” I thought about it for a second and came to the conclusion that this excuse doesn’t hold water for anyone, anywhere. Why? Because everyone has at least a few minutes each day to devote to a book. You know what I’m talking about. And with those few minutes, you can work your way through a book in a reasonable amount of time.

And if you don’t think that gives you enough time to read, you need to eat more fiber.

links for 2007-07-31

links for 2007-07-29

links for 2007-07-28

links for 2007-07-27

Smoking etiquette

How come flicking one’s cigarette out the window is still socially acceptible? Or tossing it on the ground and stamping it out, leaving behind squashed nastiness?

Methinks that we need to stigmatize cigarette littering. Somebody call Stigmatization Man!

Crazy statue throwing woman

We had an odd little event here at work earlier in the week. I wasn’t witness to it — by the time I got in, four cop cars were parked outside, but all the excitement was over.

A woman who works on one of the other floors of our building walked up to the fourth floor, where my company and one other company are. She talked to the front desk receptionist, telling her, “I took some medication this morning, and I feel bad… I need some help…” The woman then proceeded to fall asleep on the front desk.

The receptionist told the woman to go ahead and lay down on the couch and she’d call for help. The woman did, but woke up shortly later and went berserk. The woman started cursing the receptionist out, threatening her. The woman then grabbed a statue in the lobby and hurled it at the elevators. She went towards our glass case of awards to break it, but one of our executives stopped her and talked her down until the police came 15 or 20 minutes later with EMTs. She was taken away in handcuffs after having a second outburst at the police.

The receptionist remained at the front desk on the phone until the police came, keeping an eye on this dangerous visitor. That’s impressive.

Fun stuff!

links for 2007-07-26

A Life Change

I’ve been a member of Greencine since January of 2006. Greencine’s billed as a more indie/cult/rare film-friendly version of Netflix. I started with their one-out plan, but after a few months switched to their two-out plan. Everything’s been fine, but here’s the deal.

I’m switching to Netflix.

Did I just hear you gasp?

Why, might you ask, would I switch to something so mainstream as Netflix, especially since I haven’t had any serious issues with Greencine? Allow me the opportunity to break it down:

  1. Greencine has only one shipping location and it’s in San Francisco.
    This means that if I drop a movie in the mail on a Monday, there’s only a
    slight chance I’ll have a new movie by Saturday night to watch. This
    long turnaround time is why I switched to a two-out plan, so I’d always have
    something to watch. But after crunching the numbers, it’s just not a
    very good deal. Netflix will be a 2 or (max) 3-day turnaround time
    which means I can fall back to a significantly cheaper one-out plan and
    watch more movies. Better deal.
  2. One might think that Greencine has a way better selection than Netflix, but
    it’s not really the case. Not for my viewing selection of obscure
    horror and cult films with the occasional popular indie film or documentary
    thrown in, at least. Out of the 60 items in my queue, there were
    really only four or five that Netflix didn’t have. Not a big
    deal. Plus, Netflix had five movies that Greencine didn’t, so it all
    evened out.
  3. Until I started using Netflix’s site, I had no idea how crappy the
    experience is over at Greencine. Netflix has an excellent
    recommendation engine and things move snappier in general. The UI is
    well done with just enough AJAX-y stuff to emphasize the important things.
  4. Netflix offers some pretty cool “view now” options. Nine hours worth
    of time per month on the one-out plan is quite nice.

I’m aware that a lot of people have gotten annoyed with certain Netflix policies as of late, but most of the complaints are from people who are turning aroundevery movie they watch within a day (or less). I won’t be one of those people, that’s for sure (High School Ryan would have been a different story).

I did research a few of the other online rental places (Intelliflix, DVD Avenue) but they all looked pretty “meh” to me.