Busy Week Begins NOW

I’ll be so busy this week that immediately after writing today’s blog entry I’ll begin the process of making a To Do list for each day. These lists were to be constructed last night, but that sadly did not happen as I laid around watching football for many hours prior to passing out sometime shortly after half-time of last night’s Eagles v. Falcons game.

Saturday was a rather long, but incredibly enjoyable day. I decided to hold off on going on a bike ride until Sunday, mostly because I had early drinking plans disguised as a brunch birthday party at ITP-Reader Betsy’s house for ITP-Reader Tony. With ITP-Readers Betsy, Terri, Pat, Gary, and Tony, amongst others we ate amazingly tasty Mexican food while drinking mimosas, beer, and Gary’s “Steigeritas” all before walking en masse up to East Atlanta Village for the East Atlanta Strut.

While at the Strut the drinking continued at — Holy Taco, festival beer, Midway Pub. As the group dispersed later in the day I stopped at a food truck owned by Tex’s Tacos from which I ate some really delicious tacos (and found out that The Marlay House even has a food truck now). While standing around in the middle of the road I also got to spend some time talking to ITP-Reader Martha and her boyfriend Jerry, my old Flickr friend Jose, and a handful of my hashing friends.

As day was about to turn into night I meandered back to Betsy’s to fetch my car. Upon arrival at her house I decided to stop to see if she had eaten dinner, and we ordered some pretty good Indian food from Niramish in Little Five Points to be delivered to her house. After scarfing down food and falling asleep briefly while watching “The Sixth Sense” I decided it was time for me to cash in my chips. I *may* have been asleep by 10:00pm, but I really couldn’t tell you at what time my head hit my pillow.

ITP Flickr Pic
On Friday night I headed into East Atlanta to see Gringo Star perform at The EARL. I had been informed that I was going to be on the night’s guest list, but when I arrived I was told that I was not. So I did what I needed to do, paid the $10 to get in.

I’ve seen Gringo Star (once known as A Fir Ju Well) perform many times. I really enjoyed the show and got to see Gringo Star’s bass player’s father Will (aka “Two Crabs”) at the show as well.

Even if you’ve never heard Gringo Star’s music you may have seen the wooden pallets in the past that they used to paint to advertise their shows. I do wonder about Gringo Star’s new marketing plan however…

One (Other) Reason I Was Tired Yesterday
Unfortunately my buddy ITP-Reader Dean couldn’t make the ride we had planned. I decided that rather than being the lazy ass that I really wanted to be that I’d get on BlackJack and go out for a ride. The weather outside was perfect for a bike ride and I managed to do nearly my entire Stone Mountain ride.

Forgetting to pack any sustenance I decided to stop inside Stone Mountain park to get a snack. Unfortunately the vending machine I found only had soft drinks — FOR $3.25!!! I did the only thing I could, I bought one.

I was pleased with my ride though it managed to zap much of the strength from the rest of my day.

And if you ever want to have the dangerous portions of a ride marked just have a lawyer who specializes in cycling accidents have an accident on your roads. Last week I heard from Ken Rosskopf (aka “Ken Bike Law”, aka “my lawyer”) that he’d gotten into a cycling wreck and had broken some ribs. On Friday ITP-Reader John (aka “HamWithCam”) sent me a link to this Decatur Patch article which details his plight. It was no surprise to see Church street highly marked up with caution marks at every pothole, and that the pothole in question has already been repaired.

Pig, Meet Lipstick
Oh Netflix, or should I say Qwikster. I’ve watched your meteoric stock price rise. I’ve watched you inexplicably splice your company into two components, raising prices substantially. I called you out for being arrogant for doing this. And now you send me this.

Dear Paul,

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

Respectfully yours,

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

Your note was sent out the first business day after Netflix’s stock plummet. Interesting… I no longer understand your business decisions. I once again wonder if it’s time for us to break up.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – okay
Current Music – listening to this past week’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” podcast
Website Of The Day – Yesterday someone posted a link to What Was There, which superimposes old photos on top of Google Maps.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Friday = nothing; Saturday = nothing substantial; Sunday = cycling, 36 miles
Morning Weigh-In – Wednesday

Foot Mileage – 0.0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 135.5 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 27 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Days – 1
Carnivorous Days – 17

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

September Goals
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash
– Ride my bike no fewer than 150 miles
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run at least twice
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than five days
– Lose three pounds

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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11 Responses to Busy Week Begins NOW

  1. Steve says:

    I would have called you to go ride, but the mizzus and I had plans that took most of the afternoon. I got up yesterday morning with the intention of going out for a ride. The temp at the Day Spa was about 55, which would have required arm warmers at least… I’m not ready for that yet. I went out about 5:30 yesterday afternoon for 25 and it was lovely.

    I started the process of opening the hot tub this weekend. As this is our first year, we’ve never done it before. There are differing opinions on drain or leave full in the off season. We chose leave full and I don’t think we’ll be doing that again. There will be a fair amount of cleaning required before refill. Ugh.


  2. Barb says:

    Michelle, Drew & I did the Beautiful Backroads Century (okay 33 mile route) Saturday morning. It was very cool at the start, but a gorgeous day for a bike ride. It started/ended at the Bud plant in Carterville, and had beer (and not just Bud & Bud Lite) and food & a DJ that really likes the country song “I’m really good at drinking beer” (He played it I think 3 times while we were there)
    Song seemed appropriate for the location.

    Sunday was Wheelhopper, plenty of road on the hash, but we got to ride around a very nice Tribble Mill park out in the middle of no-where (Grayson, GA) Gwinnett county. Nice park, but I think if I’m going to make a roadtrip to mtn bike, we will go to Chicopee in Gainesville.

    I got that Netflix email too, now I will get 2 bills, instead of one……….

  3. You two commented just as I was adding this bit — which you might find interesting:

    And if you ever want to have the dangerous portions of a ride marked just have a lawyer who specializes in cycling accidents have an accident on your roads. Last week I heard from Ken Rosskopf (aka “Ken Bike Law”, aka “my lawyer”) that he’d gotten into a cycling wreck and had broken some ribs. On Friday ITP-Reader John (aka “HamWithCam”) sent me a link to this Decatur Patch article which details his plight. It was no surprise to see Church street highly marked up with caution marks at every pothole, and that the pothole in question has already been repaired.


    If Beautiful Backroads didn’t conflict with East Atlanta Strut I would have joined you all for that ride. I do like riding in that area.

    When Dean had to cancel I thought about Wheelhopper for a second and then saw it was in Grayson and Puff n Stuff was the hare, at which point I chose to do my solo ride.

  4. Steve says:

    If there was a link in there, I missed it. I had heard Ken crashed but never heard the details. His son Joey is currently top 20 in the Tour of China, of which there is little press coverage, damn commies. 🙂

  5. Barb says:

    yes Steve – I did wear arm warmers & my knicker length pants.
    Paulie – the ride started at 8am, so unless you were doing the century, you “could” fit both in, if you really wanted to.

    Puff is annoying, but the trail in itself wasn’t too bad (he did have a few tough to find marks), but over all, it was no worse than many other trails we had done. And – we had a great ride around & thru that park, a really nice place I’d visit a lot if I lived way out in the middle of no where Gwinnett county.

  6. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    There was no way I could have done a ride in Cartersville which started at 8am and have been back in East Atlanta by 10:30-11:00am for the brunch.

  7. Stacy Fox says:

    Qwikster has got to be one of the stupidest names I’ve ever heard! By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the deal with that Twitter name, right? MAN, I wish I were sitting on that handle and can make some dough!

  8. Yeah, I think the name is silly. I don’t know how much the guy will get for the Twitter handle. I think in reality if Qwikster really wanted it they could probably get Twitter to force him to hand it over.

  9. Martha says:

    Pretty dull weekend for us. Stayed in Friday, managed a little outing on Saturday…you may be surprised to hear my friend Steve, did not make it to Dakota Blue with the rest of us. We didn’t stay long, some of the crowd was getting a little to rowdy, espcially since we were pretty sober.

    Long run on Sunday was great…the weather was just perfect.

  10. Stacy Fox says:

    Sure they could, Paulie. Just another little bit of positive press for them then, huh?

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