Wednesday, January 28, 2009

THOSE POSTMASTER BLUES

What my heart looked like after hearing the news...

On a busy news day where people were understandably nervous about job losses, stimulus plans, and Hawaiian Tropic girls, one story in particular made my eyes sweat and the ring finger on my mouse hand tremble against the desk:

---
Massive deficits could force the post office to cut out one day of mail delivery (!), the postmaster general told Congress on Wednesday, in asking lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week.

If the change happens, that doesn't necessarily mean an end to Saturday mail delivery. Previous post office studies have looked at the possibility of skipping some other day when mail flow is light, such as Tuesday (!!!).

---

If, like me, you're an unhealthy movie obsessive ("cinephile" sounds so much more intellectual... but let's be real here), you likely just had the following thought plow through your head: "OH GOD... how will this effect my Netflix!?!?"

Yes. Like many other dorks, I have a comfortable system set-up already. A system that allows me to have four movies at a time, rotating in-and-out as if on an assembly line, assuring me that I'll have at least one movie at the house at a time while all together "renting" more in a month than my subscription fee adds up to.

But if we move to only five days of mail a week, all of that Netflix joy (pictured below) could be lost....

You can kiss the traditional family goodbye...

You see, Netflix already kind of screws the customer by not processing DVDs on a Saturday. However, Saturday is still a travel day for mail, meaning movies will make it to your mailbox, and, more importantly, your outbound movies will make it to the Netflix mailbox. (Put a movie in the mail on Saturday and Netflix will have it by Monday).

But let's say the USPS decides to go weekend-free with their deliveries/pick-ups. That means you'd have to have your movie(s) in the mail on Friday morning for a Monday processing. Worse, if USPS decides to take Tuesday off, you could put a movie in the mail on a Saturday, and not receive your next arrival until Wednesday!!

......this sucks......

I mean, I'm lucky in that I could just cancel my Netflix and go back to relying solely on local video stores. But, see, I'm worried about people like Rick Olson who lives on a boat in Alabama, or the Kindertrauma boys who live in a castle out in the country, or Jonathan Lapper, who lives in a tree house in South Carolina. THESE are the people that will suffer! President Obama, what are you gonna do for these people, sir???

Solutions:

1. Netflix can contract with FedEx. (This will likely cause an increase in subscription fees because of postage issues, etc.)

2. Netflix can rely more heavily on its Watch Instantly feature. (F**k that! I'll be canceling if that's the case. I ain't watching Paris, TX on my laptop!).

3. Netflix can lower it's subscription fees.

4. Perhaps USPS can still deliver to P.O. boxes on their "day off".

Ahh, who knows. This is probably just premature paranoia on my part. Like I said, I'm mainly just worried about people like Bill R. who lives on the second floor of the library in the 700-800 section.

16 comments:

bill r. said...

Fox, I thank you for your concern, but my Netflix viewing is almost always done on weekends, and so I generally get them in the mail on Monday. I doubt I would be much effected by this, and I also doubt the USPS will cut a day anyhow.

No, the bigger problem for me is being discovered by the librarians and library customers, but if things get too hair I can just carve out an emergency hiding place in the 730s (plastic arts sculpture) because nobody ever goes there.

Fox said...

Bill-

I bet you have some magical moments there after the library closes... kind of like a mix of Night at the Museum and The Neverending Story where books, magic, and dreams come alive right there in the stacks!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Well, first, I live in the DC Metro area so I have access to pretty much any movie on Earth at any time and second, like Bill I get the Netflix stuff for the weekend. And I'm on the six DVD plan and may move up to seven or eight because there are so many damn requests in the house.

By the way, the instant viewing, which I have used many times, nevertheless sucks. They don't letterbox for instant viewing. So once again, just like with VHS or DVDs when they first came out and thought they had to put the standard pan 'n scan on the other side of the disc, it's an insult to movie lovers. Like we're not going to notice the difference. That shit really pisses me off. I really thought we were past the pan 'n scan bullshit.

Fox said...

Jonathan-

Maybe it's my laptop, or my slow browser (again, I'm kinda computer illiterate) but the other night I started watching something on Instant Viewing and the sound was off by 2 seconds. I wondered if casual viewers just shrug and watch stuff like that anyways.

I mean, it was just a crappy-looking horror movie, but I would still be pissed if my movie was on there with that type of dysfunction. One thing I haven't tried yet, is hooking up my laptop up to the TV to see if the image is any better. B/c dude, some of those Instant Viewing movies look crap-ass bad on a small screen.

PIPER said...

I guess I'm okay with the fact that you didn't mention me in your post. Me in Cambodia in that little tribal village that worships me like a God.

I mean what about me, Fox? I'm lucky to get one Netflix movie a month - that is if the delivery guy doesn't get shot on the boat or decapitated by the locals.

I can have the locals reenact Battlefield Earth only so many times before I crave the real thing.

bill r. said...

I bet you have some magical moments there after the library closes... kind of like a mix of Night at the Museum and The Neverending Story where books, magic, and dreams come alive right there in the stacks!

Some nights it is like that. I will frolic in Narnia with Mr. Tumnus, and then attend Bilbo Baggins's eleventy-first birthday party in the Shire. But other times, the only people around to hang out with are characters from Ethan Canin or Alan Cheuse's books, and man, those nights are a real grind.

Fox said...

I can have the locals reenact Battlefield Earth only so many times before I crave the real thing.

Just like the Vietnamese did with Simple Jack!

But seriously, Piper, I knew you had a sweet Colonel Kurtz-type set-up there, and I didn't want anyone else to find out about it lest they wanted to spoil all your fun.

Plus, from what I've heard, Cambodia's postal service is excellent. I don't know why you'd be having those troubles. I wonder if perhaps you pissed off the wrong warlord or something.

Fox said...

Some nights it is like that. I will frolic in Narnia with Mr. Tumnus, and then attend Bilbo Baggins's eleventy-first birthday party in the Shire. But other times, the only people around to hang out with are characters from Ethan Canin or Alan Cheuse's books, and man, those nights are a real grind.

You had me understanding all of that before you had to get all literary on me with "Ethan Canin" and "Alan Cheuse". Huh, wha? If you stick to Peter Travers refrences I'll probably be ok, but otherwise...

p.s. Eleventy-one is my favorite number!!!

bill r. said...

To be honest, Fox, I've never read Cheuse or Canin, but I believe (perhaps wrongly) that they write very plodding, oh-so-literary books about people who are dissatisfied with things.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, it's probably not your laptop. Every computer I've tried instant viewing on is pretty underwhelming. It's got a long way to go before it's an acceptable way to watch a movie for the first time. Right now it's just a step or so above YouTube and that's it.

Rick Olson said...

I think some movies are letterboxed on instant viewing, and some aren't.

What makes me mad is that in HD on TV, anamorphic flicks are often forced some way or another to fit in 16:9. Pan n' Scan all over again.

Rick Olson said...

And on the boat, the flicks are often, often soggy.

aunt john said...

Thankfully, our castle is built on the ruins of a West Coast Video graveyard (they never moved the VHS tapes!)... so don't worry about us. I am more concerned with disruptions to my Horse Illustrated subscription. I read it for the articles and not the pictures, I swear!

Fletch said...

What's Netflix? Does that work in my Betamax? No? How about my laserdisc?

It's times like these when I'm glad to be one of the 4 people left that hasn't joined Netflix. I'm gonna email the post office (tangent: do USPS employees detest email?) and ask them to only deliver mail twice a week. Then I will do a celebratory limbo while mocking you all.

MovieMan0283 said...

God, I had the same exact thought. Remember last summer when Netflix proposed eliminating the separate queue/account system, and there was such an outcry (including from yours truly) that they quickly backtracked?

Now imagine if people acted that way on important issues...

And many a time have I rushed out the door to meet a deadline for the post office so that I could get another movie in time for the FOLLOWING day, in order to send that one out by the weekend (et cetera)...

Currently I'm on Netflix hiatus but I look forward to the day when I can resume my obsession.

sexy said...

情色貼圖,日本A片,A片下載,情色A片,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,微風成人,成人網站,成人光碟,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人影城,18成人,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人影片,成人文章,成人小說,微風成人區,成人交友,成人文學,成人漫畫,成人遊戲,免費成人影片 ,成人論壇,愛情公寓,情色,色情網站,情色A片,色情小說,情色文學,情色小說,色情,情色視訊