Life without Power

Saturday, December 16, 2006
Ever wonder what life would be like without Electricity? I got to find out first hand what it would be like this weekend. Seattle had a REALLY bad storm Thursday night. Winds reached 60-70 MPH in some places.

When I woke up on Friday, there wasn't any power. I still got up and decided to go to work. As I drove out to the street, I was greeted with non-functioning traffic lights and fallen trees and branches all over the street. This wasn't just some isolated street, EVERY street was like this.

I soon found out that Microsoft was afflicted with the same problem. But it wasn't just Redmond, it was most of the Puget Sound. Literally millions without power, and they had no idea how long it would take. I spent the night in the dark (and remember it gets dark early in Seattle) staring at my girlfriend while we sat close to the fireplace (had to use the fireplace, had no heat otherwise). It was crazy.

The aftermath is even stranger. We got electricity sometime early on Saturday morning. But it seems that most of the area doesn't have it, Redmond is one of the few cities with power. We spent the morning throwing out everything in the fridge, and then looking for a place to get some food. But Redmond is crazy. There are really long lines for everything. Most of the restaurants are packed, and the gas lines are crazy. Literally 50 cars deep at every gas station.
Most of these people are probably from the surrounding cities. The busiest place (besides the gas stations) was the library. There wasn't an empty seat in the place, and every outlet had something plugged into it, mostly cell phones. 2nd on the list? The Liquor store. I couldn't believe how many people were waiting to buy some alcohol. I guess if you have nothing to do, you might as well drink yourself silly.

I don't ever want to experience this again, I like modern life. Life without electricity is tough. Seriously, what's wrong with this city? First the crazy snow storm, and now this. Wonder how fast I can pack up and move back to L.A.

Blockbuster Total Access

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Even though I've had my problems with Blockbuster, and swore them off, I decided to try them out one more time as I think the Total Access Plan is pretty compelling. In short, it works like Netflix, but I can go in and exchange my DVDs in store. I get a free in-store rental, and they ship the next DVD right away. In theory, you can get almost double the regular number of DVDs.

So far so good. It works without a hitch. The nice thing is that it is generally easier to get new DVDs from the store than online so you can use your in-store rentals to get the harder to get new releases and the online portion for everything else.

And now this. Blockbuster is opening up Total Access to all Netflix Customers. No need to sign up for Blockbuster Online, just need to have a Blockbuster in-store account. Pretty clever marketing ploy if you ask me.