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03 October 2005 — Lazy Weekend (4)

Anyone else having trouble with Netflix?

It used to be that it if I put a movie in the mail on Monday, it would be processed by Netflix on Tuesday morning, and we would receive the next DVD on Wednesday. Lately, however, our returned discs don't show up on Tuesday. Sometimes they don't show up on Wednesday, either, but only arrive on Thursday. This is ridiculous. It's likely not the mail that's causing this delay, but something at the receiving end. It pisses me off. It's well-documented that Netflix penalizes frequent-watchers by throttling their queue: if you watch too much, you're unable to get popular titles. (Basically, ties in the queue go to the account that watches less.) I wonder if they engage in other slimy practices.

Kris and I managed to watch three Netflix discs over the weekend, including The Ghost and the Darkness, a movie about Africa that came highly-recommended from several people. We didn't like it. The script, from William Goldman (of The Princess Bride fame), was trite. The characters lacked any sort of depth. Similar to Gorillas in the Mist (another lousy movie about Africa we watched recently), although the film is set in Africa, the continent plays little role. If it weren't for the fact that the film is about a pair of lions, it could have taken place in the American West.

On Saturday, Tiffany joined us for a trip down to the Proffitt-Smith homestead where Mac prepared a tasty meal of mustard chicken and caramelized onions. When I wasn't being anti-social (completing a sudoku that had stumped Pam), we chatted and looked at all of the work that has been done to the house. M&P have been busy little beavers. I'm excited for the work on the home theater to be completed: 7.1 surround sound and a projection TV! After dinner, we played a game of This vs. That, which for some reason quite amused the boys. Mac and I drowned were in uncontrollable snickers over "the surface of the sun".

Kris spent her Sunday knitting pointy little witch slippers for me and cracking a seemingly endless pile of filberts, all of which she managed while watching a parade of home improvement shows on HGTV. I spent some time in the workshop, sorting a lifetime's worth of compact discs and audio tapes. Mostly, though, I spent time in my bathtub, reading and soaking.

While reading and soaking, I managed to finish Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, which Pam had recommended. A Walk in the Woods documents Bryson's quest to hike the entire 2200 mile Appalachian Trail over the course of the summer. He's accompanied by a loud, fat, inept friend. Together, they walk and walk and walk. Along the way, Bryson meditates on nature, on environmentalism, and on changing societal values. He tells lots of fun little stories, such as the tale of Centralia, Pennsylvania, a town under which a coal mine fire has been burning for forty years. A Walk in the Woods isn't revelatory, but it is fun. I liked the two main characters: a certain amalgam of their personalities describes how I behave in the woods. (Overpacking, obsessed with nature.)


Meanwhile, despite Lisa's help, the only way I've found to close comments on old weblog entries is to go back and do it by hand.

TEDIOUS!

But necessary. The spamlords have been out in force lately, and I've grown weary of combatting their crap. Closing entries on most of the old entries should solve the problem, but it's a l-o-n-g and slow process. I'm up to 28 October 2002. At this rate, it'll be 28 October 2005 before I've got all 1119 entries closed and the spam comments removed.

Ugh.

On this day at foldedspace.org

2004The Blood of a Squirrel   Greetings it is I Simon. I kill squirrels.

2003Brownie Points   In which I codify a system of Brownie Points (and subsequent rewards) for readers of foldedspace.org.

2002Wednesday Evening, 9 p.m.   The West Wing starts. The credits roll. "Oooh. Guest starring Joanna Gleason," I say. "You know who she is, right?"

Comments
On 03 October 2005 (07:34 PM), Cat said:

One word: GreenCine

Will you get your movies faster? Well, no. But you will have the pleasure of dealing with a business that specializes in unusual movies (as well has having the mainstream stuff), doesn't cut deals with Wal-Mart, and is just...well...less evil. But I'm biased--I had an *awful* time with Netflix.


On 03 October 2005 (10:27 PM), Roger said:

Hmm...that is exactly why I left Netflix two years ago. I Loved Netflix at first but eventually I experienced the problems you described. At the time I thought it was due to a rapidly expanding customer base that outpaced their stock. Frustrated, I decided to cancel. Guess what? After going through all the on-line steps to cancel, I was forced to CALL them to complete the deal. When I called they tried to talk me out of leaving by offering incentives to stay. Now that was slimy!


On 04 October 2005 (07:12 AM), Jeff said:

"Kris and I managed to watch... The Ghost and the Darkness, a movie about Africa that came highly-recommended from several people. We didn't like it. The script, from William Goldman (of The Princess Bride fame), was trite. The characters lacked any sort of depth. Similar to Gorillas in the Mist (another lousy movie about Africa we watched recently), although the film is set in Africa, the continent plays little role. If it weren't for the fact that the film is about a pair of lions, it could have taken place in the American West."

...and at least one of those recommendations came with a warning about Val Kilmer's Razzie earning performance... yet at the same time, the film won an Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing. Well, and it was a film starring Michael Douglas... what did you expect?

For me, this movie was not about character development or even cinematogrophy. It was about the lions and the affect they had on the Tsavo region and on the expanding British empire. Perhaps you should have just read the book instead...


On 05 October 2005 (01:29 AM), Kelly said:

I am currently reading a Walk in the Woods as well and I am trying to find other bloggers who would like to start a reading club on the blogs. what do you think


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