Thursday, July 17, 2003

We gonna rock down through electric avenue...

Sometimes I wish the power company worked like cell phone company. You could go and look over their plans...Choose one that suits your lifestyle/situation (house, apt, trailer, etc.). You would sign up for a certain number of Kwh per month, with, say, free night and weekend kwh.

Of course, if you go over your kwh per month, there's an additional charge... But you could run your AC all night! Sleep in cool comfort...

If life only worked like this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

This is BitterTree never sleeping again

This frightens me to my core.

Especially with the impending trip and most definite stays at sketchy (read: CHEAP) motels along the way.

Note: The motel did not require a credit card to be on file. It could be difficult for them to track the person(s) who stayed in this room prior to the findings.

Welcome ashore, Mollusk!

There are some bloggers who are just so chock-full of content they post several times a day.There are some bloggers who only post a few times a week. What the latter lack in volume, they make up in quality.

The Mollusk is one of these bloggers.

Blogging from somewhere deep in the pacific ocean, his posts are always witty, insightful and thought provoking. More than once I've wanted to comment on a post, only to find, to my shock and dismay, no comments available!

I'm happy to announce the Mollusk swam up from the abyss last night and added comments to his blog.

Ahoy to you, Mollusk. Ahoy to you.

Friday, July 11, 2003

I have a problem with movie theaters...

As I understand it, this is the business model of a movie theater.

Hollywood makes movies which they distribute to theaters. Theater owners then show these movies at their theaters. Ticket sales go mostly to the Hollywood studios, whereas popcorn, soda and candy sales go to the theater owners.

Hollywood of course want more movies shown every day (more showtimes would mean more ticket sales and thus more revenues...)

Theater owners want longer times between movie showtimes so patrons (like you and I) will have more time to loiter in the lobby and buy popcorn, soda and candy (hence more revenues for the theater owners).

If you have been to the movies within the last few years, you have certainly seen the slide show ads that are on the screen as you enter the theater, prior to the movie. You have probably also seen the 30 second - 1 minute more typical 'television commercial' ads that are shown prior to the trailers.

So where does the revenue from those ad sales go? Do they help offset the price of the ticket, so you pay only $9 or $10 instead of $15 or $20? Does it help offset the price of the popcorn, soda and candy? So you'll pay only $3.00 for a box of snow caps instead of $6? Or does that revenue go straight into the theater owner's pocket, with not a thought about helping the consumer...

My guess...Straight into the theater owner's pocket.

Though, I suppose they sell the targeted ad space (nationwide) before a particular movie to capture a particular audience (literally), thus it may go straight back to hollywood. Which once again, doesn't help the consumer at all.

Wouldn't it be great if FINALLY we were REWARDED for watching advertising?

Close your eyes and imagine this. You and your significant other decide you want to see a movie at 8:35pm. You arrive at the theater at 7:50pm, to ensure you'll get tickets and a good seat. To your surprise there's not much of a line. You order your tickets, since you're there 30 minutes early, you are handed a coupon for $1 off a large popcorn. "Great!" you think. And, to your surprise, you pay $2 less for the movie you want to see. "How can that be?" you wonder.

It works like this. The theater owner has sold time before the movie starts, and since you arrived so early, you'll he's assuming you'll be sitting in the theater watching the ads. To ensure you do this, he's given you $1 off popcorn (where the money from the ad sales is offsetting the $1 off coupon, when used) if you DO use the coupon, where else are you going to go with a large popcorn except to the theater to sit and enjoy. Once there, you'll watch the ads, and hopefully buy the products. If you don't use the coupon or you show up late, you'll most likely go to the theater and watch the ads, anyway, perhaps even buy a large popcorn for full price. If you don't, you'll go play video games (another source of revenue for the theater owners).

So what about the $2 off the ticket? Well you see, one of the large soft drink companies has paid a lot of money to a hollywood movie studio to feature their soft drink in the movie (contract says the characters must drink from their family of soft drinks no less than 50 times within the movie) and a luxury car company has also paid a lot of money to feature one of their cars in the movie (guess what's in the cupholder?). The money the studio has received from these companies has offset your ticket price. Sweet huh?

Laugh if you want. I don't think it's that far off of an idea.

Pay me for my time and attention, please.

You may have noticed...

I've tweaked my blog template a bit. Let me know if you like it better this way of if I should revert back to the old template.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Ben Franklin Revisited

The library wasn't as great as I had hoped. They block a LOT of the internet, so I was unable to check email, FTP, or read anything .blogspot.com.

I could post to my blog, but I couldn't access it afterward. Franklin is rolling in his grave.

Last year some time Circa showed me The Homeless guy's blog supposedly written by a homeless man somewhere in America using free library computers. If his library experience is anything like mine, he has no idea what his blog actually looks like.

Come to think of it...I've seen a blog written by Julius Caesar. Maybe he's updating from a library in Rome...Though, I think his days are numbered.

It's all about Benjamin

And I mean it too...No, not money, the man. The 'founding father'

On the trip home from Yosemite, I read a very interesting special edition Time Magazine on Ben Franklin. What I'm not going to do with this post is summarize the article. What I will do is write about how his ideas are impacting me as I write this.

You see Franklin was a man of many talents, ideas and occupations. One such idea from Franklin, was the lending library. You can go, check out books and bring them back for the use of others. Oh sure, there were libraries prior to Frankling, I believe the Greeks had libraries. Michelangelo designed a library, well the vestibule of a library...My point is...Franklin came up with the idea to give books to people for their enjoyment at home.

We are still doing this today. I am currently sitting in my local library, literally only a few steps from my apartment. I have with my laptop and I'm blogging? How can you do this, you say? Because my local library has FREE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS for public use. Not only that but I'm actually WIRELESS now. Wi-Fi-Li-Brari ;o)

Okay, so there are a few drawbacks. I think they've blocked the chat ports, I can't seem to connect to AIM or MSN Messenger. It could just be a failing on my part, but i think they've done it system wide.

But hey, I am able to blog, so it can't be all that bad.

I can't help but think of Ben as I sit here. This is certainly his idea, plus progress.

Here's to you, Mr. Franklin.


Monday, July 07, 2003

Truly Beautiful

Melissa and I returned last night from a trip to Yosemite National Park with her family and family-friends.

There were around 16 kids from ages 4 - 17. Eight of us were 20 - 27. The rest were REAL adults. That's a BIG group.

We did some hiking, rafting and card playing. Got dirty. Waited on long lines to take hot showers and saw no fireworks for the 4th of July (they're prohibited in the park).

I did do my very first Tequila shot in celebration of her mom's birthday.

I also saved the camping tradition by lighting the fire the first night, and all the nights thereafter. There were several unsucessful attempts made to light the fire on the first night, including spitting rum on the kindling to light the bigger logs.
"Oh No" I thought. This is going to get ugly.

I noticed at the bottom there were still a few embers, so I collected as many dried pine needles and small grass as i could, placed it over the embers and blew...and blew...and blew... low and behold it lit! and with much needed help from Melissa's uncle, he added the fuel, as i blew and grew the fire...smaller sticks lit the bigger sticks, the bigger sticks lit the logs...pretty soon we had a really nice campfire. The uncle and I received a round of applause. There was a second and perhaps even better result of my keen fire skill. With that act I absolved myself from being tossed in the river at 4am in my sleeping bag. Apparently a family tradition for someone camping with them for the first time.

Lucky me.

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