February 21, 2008: Term Paper Day

Today’s XKCD sums me up quite well.

Today is my day at home. I slept in until eight when Oreo decided that the sunlight was irresistible and headed out to the living room to find a warm, cozy sunspot on the recliner. Then it was time to work. I feel a little better today after having been exhausted all week. I have pretty much wrapped up all of my homework for my Project Management class and have nothing to do except write my term paper which is due on Tuesday.

I checked on Amazon today and, as I feared, the price of BluRay players is now increasing as there is no more competition from HD-DVD. So that just pushes off adoption for those of us who have been waiting for the price to drop and not waiting for HD-DVD to finally give up the ghost. This won’t help things any. As Dominica and I become more and more used to using Internet delivered content the less we even remember that BluRay was something that we wanted. Two months ago we were checking the prices every day (they were as low as $280 for a nice Samsung unit that is around $360 today from the same dealer) and now it has almost completely slipped our minds as being something that we were going to get. I realize that we tend to be ahead of the curve a little bit but there are a lot of people a lot more into this stuff than us and they must have given up on BD some time ago. I can definitely see BD having a really hard time really quickly if they don’t figure something out right away. It is funny that I am so concerned with the price of a BluRay player today in 2008 when Nate and I spent $350 on our first DVD player in 2000 and were not nearly so concerned about how expensive it was. My first Laserdisc player, a dual sided Sony behemoth, was $250 in 1994 which has to be quite a bit more than a BluRay player today and that was an extremely mature technology. If BluRay players were $250 today, I would definitely buy one. But it isn’t looking like they are going to make it there until the end of the year. We will see if I still care by then.

Of course one of the worst things about BluRay is the draconian and potentially illegal copyright and usage limitations that they are placing upon them (fairuse rights are refused, for example) that prevent you, not only from making your rightful archival copy, but also prevent you from being able to watch purchased movies in a modern, convenient way like from a media center. In today’s multi-media world people are rapidly moving to centralized media server systems in their homes – single devices handling audio, video, pictures, etc. that make physical media, even for people who own physical media, obsolete. Taking the effort to dig out a disc, put it in a player, wait for it to spin up, hope that it isn’t scratched and will play properly is going to feel more and more like a clumsy way to watch movies. People are getting used to just sitting down and watching anything that they want. BluRay has forgotten that it isn’t 1999 and the world has moved on. Sony is not a company known for looking ahead and, once again, they have no plan for the future.

Today was busy for a Thursday. Oreo was a little more restless than normal as he had a three day weekend and then just two days of daycare to wear him out. Susan and I tried to do lunch today but her lunch window was pretty small and I got a call that I had to take right when we were going to meet and so we had to cancel and shoot for next week. After work today Dominica had a dentist appointment to look at a crown that she has been having problems with recently. Then she had to run to Walmart to pick up some medicine. She would have gone to Walgreen’s which we like better but they have no good parking there and it is just such a hassle. It would be nice if we had a nice pharmacy within walking distance of home being that we live in the middle of a city but, of course, there isn’t one – at least not one that we feel safe walking to in the evenings. There was one but it closed almost immediately after our building starting having people move in. But it wasn’t open late so it didn’t really help us any. Walgreen’s in the Ironbound is about the best that we get and they are pretty weak. They were better when they were twenty-four hours but now they aren’t and you have to go wait in long lines with the crazy people.

Dominica may think twice about trying to get prescriptions filled at the Harrison Walmart after today. It took her half an hour or so to get through the line and then another hour for her prescription to get filled. An hour to kill in a very low class Walmart where you really don’t want to spend extra time. Of course, it is in Walmart’s interest for you to be stuck there just long enough to put up with the delay because then you are pretty much tied to shopping there while you wait. So Dominica spent her hour doing some grocery shopping which did work out well for us even though it was a horrible waste of time.

Dominica got home well after seven and for dinner we just heated up some frozen pizzas that she got from Walmart for just $1.50 each.  Talk about a cheap dinner.  We ate and watching a few episodes of the third season of Family Matters.  Oreo was super snuggly.  He has gotten into the habit of climbing into my lap when we watch television.  It is so sweet.  He has never been a lap dog until just the last few weeks but he seems to be starting to really want to be held more than before.  There is no question that he definitely sees himself as our dog now.  He has also begun to ask us for massages on a regular basis.  He is very funny.

My birthday present from Dominica arrived in the mail today.  She ordered it from Amazon and the free shipping plan said that it would arrive next week on my birthday.  It shipped yesterday.  But it arrived today and she was very impatient and decided to have me open it today instead of waiting.  She got me Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors for the Nintendo Wii.  I am very excited as Dragon Quest VIII was my favourite video game of all time and this is looking like it is going to be very similar but with somewhat updated graphics.  I am sad that I can’t play it this weekend, though, and have to wait until after my term paper is finished before I can even try it out.  The Wii isn’t even hooked up right now.

Leave a comment