When Work Swallows You Up

Where have I been? Why, with the excep­tion of that bit about Arnold men­tion­ing BC in his appear­ance at Meet the Press last Sun­day, have I been so silent? It’s noth­ing very excit­ing. I’ve been work­ing, head down, pret­ty much every day for about 3 weeks. Aside from going to the Van­cou­ver User Expe­ri­ence (VanUE) meet­ing on Tues­day night — and not even stay­ing for the after par­ty, as I had to get back home and to bed in order to get up before 6 AM the next morn­ing, and I knew that if I didn’t get enough sleep, I’d have got­ten sick again—I’ve kept to bed, com­put­er and client site (this past week).

I’m final­ly look­ing at a day off tomor­row, and all of the weath­er fore­casts are for a day like today, full of rain. Pam has class for most of the day, so I think I’m going to do some­thing I haven’t done in a long time; I’m going to go to an after­noon mat­inée. I don’t even know what I’m going to see, but the prospect of pop­corn in a nice warm movie the­atre tak­ing in a lit­tle bit of enter­tain­ment on a rainy day sounds awful­ly good to me.

I’ve checked the local the­atre list­ings, and am not sure what I’m going to see, but I can tell you it won’t be a big, depress­ing movie or a love sto­ry, and it cer­tain­ly won’t be any­thing that in any remote way reminds me of Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture, Pro­to­typ­ing or User Test­ing.

Except for bit­tor­rent, I haven’t watched all that many movies. Why do I resort to bit­tor­rent?  There is no Net­flix here in Cana­da, and I’ve heard many peo­ple tell me that the equiv­a­lent, Zip.ca  is not very good. There is also no stream­ing of movies over TiVo here and unlike the Amer­i­can ver­sion of the store, there are no stream­ing movies on Amazon.ca either.  Even the iTunes store doesn’t the vari­ety of movies for Cana­di­an accounts as it does in the Amer­i­can store, so the AppleTV is not as use­ful either (unless you buy gift­cards on the oth­er side of the bor­der and load up an Amer­i­can account). So CRTC or who­ev­er is respon­si­ble for our Cin­e­mat­ic Rights Time Warp, don’t you real­ize that you’ve actu­al­ly forced me into bit­tor­rent­ing movies, because there is real­ly no con­ve­nient, rea­son­ably-priced alter­na­tive? Video rental stores are kind of a pain (and seem so…20th cen­tu­ry), and I’m not real­ly inter­est­ed in buy­ing DVDs (and cer­tain­ly haven’t popped for a Blu-Ray play­er).

On the sub­ject is Video Rentals, I couldn’t resist shar­ing this lit­tle nod to Abbott and Costel­lo by Chris Gavaler, that I saw a while ago:

Who’s on First?

By Chris Gavaler

(A CUSTOMER steps up to a video-store counter with a stack of videos.)
CASHIER: Hi. Did you find every­thing you want­ed?
CUSTOMER: (Hand­ing over mem­ber­ship card.) Yes, thanks. (Pause.) When is this one due back?
CASHIER: The day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: Yeah, when’s it due back?
CASHIER: The day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: Yes. The Day After Tomor­row.
CASHIER: Right.
CUSTOMER: Right. When’s it due back?
CASHIER: The day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: I mean the movie. The Day After Tomor­row. When is it due?
CASHIER: Oh! I get it. That’s fun­ny. You thought I meant-right, OK. It’s due the day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: The Day After Tomor­row is due the day after tomor­row?
CASHIER: Exact­ly.
CUSTOMER: And Before Sun­set?
CASHIER: Any­time before 10.
CUSTOMER: Is it the same as The Day After Tomor­row?
CASHIER: We close the same time every day. Ten o’clock.
CUSTOMER: But what day is the video due?
CASHIER: The Day After Tomor­row?
CUSTOMER: Why are you ask­ing me?
CASHIER: The Day After Tomor­row is due the day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: I know, but what about Before Sun­set?
CASHIER: Any­time before clos­ing.
CUSTOMER: But what day?
CASHIER: The day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: Before Sun­set?
CASHIER: You can bring it then if you want to, but we’re open till 10.
CUSTOMER: The movie! Before Sun­set. When is Before Sun­set due?
CASHIER: Oh! We did it again, didn’t we? Isn’t that just like that … what’s that sketch called? Any­way. Sor­ry. Before Sun­set is due the day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: Thank you. (Pause.) Is that the same for the oth­ers?
CASHIER: You’re not rent­ing The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: Why not?
CASHIER: I don’t know. You can if you want to.
CUSTOMER: Well, I would like to rent the oth­ers, please.
CASHIER: I’ll check the com­put­er.
CUSTOMER: For what?
CASHIER: The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: What’s in front of you?
CASHIER: (Look­ing through stack.) Well, we have The Day After Tomor­row and Before Sun­set. Then Sev­en, After Hours, 48 Hours, Ten, and Before Sun­rise. Hey, that’s fun­ny, “before sunrise”-we could have got­ten con­fused about that too, huh?
CUSTOMER: Yeah. Could you ring them up, please?
CASHIER: So you don’t want The Oth­ers?
CUSTOMER: I want all of them.
CASHIER: But not The Oth­ers?
CUSTOMER: I want every­thing sit­ting right there in front of you.
CASHIER: OK, I’ll ring them up. (Pause.) I’m sor­ry, but your account lim­its you to six rentals.
CUSTOMER: Oh, OK, I won’t rent Ten.
CASHIER: Excuse me?
CUSTOMER: Get rid of Ten.
CASHIER: You have sev­en here.
CUSTOMER: I still want to rent Sev­en.
CASHIER: You’re not allowed to.
CUSTOMER: Why can’t I rent Sev­en?
CASHIER: Because it’s over the lim­it.
CUSTOMER: Right, but I want Sev­en. Get rid of Ten.
CASHIER: (Pause.) That would leave neg­a­tive three.
CUSTOMER: Excuse me?
CASHIER: You know what? We’ll just let it slide this time.
CUSTOMER: Thank you. (Pause.) Is that one due back the day after tomor­row, too?
CASHIER: Yes, you have 48 hours.
CUSTOMER: But is it due with the oth­ers?
CASHIER: You don’t have The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: What did you just ring up?
CASHIER: You want me to read these to you again?
CUSTOMER: No, just tell me when they’re due.
CASHIER: The day after tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: But what about the oth­ers?
CASHIER: You don’t have The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: Is 48 Hours due the day after tomor­row?
CASHIER: Yes, by 10 o’clock.
CUSTOMER: Is Ten due the day after tomor­row?
CASHIER: Yes, by 10 o’clock.
CUSTOMER: What about After Hours?
CASHIER: There’s a late fee.
CUSTOMER: For what?
CASHIER: If you return after hours.
CUSTOMER: The day after tomor­row?
CASHIER: All of them.
CUSTOMER: So it’s due the day after tomor­row?
CASHIER: By 10.
CUSTOMER: What about Sev­en?
CASHIER: You can bring it then if you want to, but we’re open till 10.
CUSTOMER: The movie! The movie! When is the movie Sev­en due?
CASHIER: (Hold­ing up each video one at a time.) Sev­en is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. The Day After Tomor­row is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. Before Sun­set is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. 48 Hours is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. After Hours is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. And Ten is due at 10 the day after tomor­row
CUSTOMER: Thank you! (Notic­ing the last video after a long pause.) But what about Before Sun­rise?
CASHIER: (Pause.) We’re not open before sun­rise.
(CUSTOMER gives up and walks out.)

On the oth­er hand, the movie the­atres here are real­ly nice, and I’m look­ing for­ward to that.

On Sun­day, the sun is sup­posed to come out, but alas, I will have to be get­ting back to work, and hope­ful­ly won’t be too far behind from hav­ing tak­en a few hours off.

2 Replies to “When Work Swallows You Up”

  1. Hi David,

    It’s been a long time since we’ve been in touch. Not like the Cam­bridge and BCS-Mac / Hyper­Card days. I’ve moved to Martha’s Vine­yard; not much square dance call­ing since then, but still some. I’m still a Mac enthu­si­ast; love my iPhone; and real­ly miss Hyper­Card!

    I found you on Twit­ter (which I’m just get­ting into). How long have you been in BC?

    Etc.

    Don

  2. Hi Don! Nice to hear from you. We moved here in 2005 and haven’t looked back. Still, it’s nice that the Inter­net (includ­ing blogs, twit­ter, IM, iChat AV, and the rest) have made it rel­a­tive­ly easy to keep in touch with friends and fam­i­ly back in Boston and the rest of the US. Hope you are lik­ing the Vine­yard. I always liked vis­it­ing, and I expect that liv­ing near the ocean is as good for you as it is for us.

    I miss Hyper­Card too. Still hop­ing for a tool that is as mind-expand­ing and excit­ing as that was. I’d par­tic­u­lar­ly like some­thing like it for the iPhone, espe­cial­ly if it had some built-in tools for read­ing and pars­ing data from the Inter­net. It would be great (and inspir­ing) to see peo­ple author­ing their own Media and Data-inten­sive iPhone ‘Hyper­card’ apps and mak­ing them avail­able for free via the iTunes Store. Maybe that’s some­thing that will come; I sup­pose we are wait­ing for anoth­er Bill Atkin­son to come along, but those kinds of genius­es are pret­ty rare in this world.

    All the best, and stay in touch.

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