Saturday, 10 May 2014

10:23 – Barbara is out planting potted flowers before the rain arrives. I’m doing laundry, shipping kits, and getting ready to build more.

I also just climbed up on the roof to get rid of the spring accumulation of maple seeds and so on in the troughs. This may be the last year I’ll do that. Having vertigo means I can lose my balance without warning, which isn’t a good thing when I’m standing up on the roof. I don’t want to pull a Max McGee. As Harry Callahan said, a man’s got to know his limitations. Next year, I’ll just do the best I can with a rake while standing at the top of the ladder.

I got email yesterday from Netflix announcing that they’re increasing streaming prices from $8 to $9 per month, but only for new customers or those who change their plans. Others are grandfathered in for two years. I still think that Netflix is being too timid, but I suppose they must know what they’re doing. If it were me, I would have doubled the monthly price and announced that I was doing that so that I could afford to greatly increase the number and quality of streaming titles available. In an era of $150/month cable TV bills, I can’t imagine that many people would drop the service if it increased from $8 to $16/month. More likely, they’d drop some of the cable TV options.

Amazon is now streaming a limited selection of old HBO series. As far as I can see, it’s no big deal. Every HBO series I checked on Amazon is pay-per-view. If you want to watch an HBO series, it’s actually cheaper just to sign up for Netflix DVDs than it is to pay per episode or per season on Amazon.

Speaking of expensive streaming, Barbara and I watched the first five seasons of the Canadian series Murdoch Mysteries on Amazon Prime streaming, all at no additional charge. They also have series six, but the only option is to buy episodes or the entire series. I don’t know who Amazon thinks they’re kidding. They charge $4.99 for each 45-minute episode or $58 for the 13-episode series. Give me a break. For comparison, I recently bought the most recent season of Heartland on DVD from Amazon.ca. Those five discs and 18 episodes cost about $22, including shipping.