Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Deal of the Century

Now that I've got the Xbox Live up and running, I'm finding it difficult to control myself. Like a kid in a candy store (with a grown-up's allowance), I'm finding all sorts of new and creative ways to spend money.

Getting passed the one-year Xbox Live "Gold" membership fee was just the start. With that upgraded service, I could really expand the capabilities of the free "Silver" membership level. There exists a fancy chart with check marks in columns showing all the extra thing the Gold gets you, but I don't want to bore you with that, just know that there's a LOT more I can do, even if I never get around to actually DOING it. It's nice to know the powerful capabilities and expandable dimensions are there.

Shortly after agreeing to the upgrade fee, I went to the "Marketplace" to purchase some new songs for the Guitar Hero III, and World Tour games. I wanted to find new songs that my son didn't know so that I could have a chance to actually beat him in a head-to-head match on "Hard" level. What I found were a LOT of cool songs that I really wanted, songs by the Killers, Journey, Boston, The Eagles, Marilyn Manson, Reggae songs, etc. I quickly gave the game system my credit card info, purchased some "points" then just as quickly cashed them in for several songs and song packages--all from the comfort of my couch. With the surround sound blaring on the elevated 50-inch plasma in the living room, my son and I jammed to "Mr. Brightside," "Putting Hole in it," and "Life in the Fast Lane." Coming in second place never felt so good.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, supper was getting cold.

The next day, while talking with my brother who is also an Xbox Live-er, I discovered what could be one of the best deals in this sluggish economy. One word (that sounds like two):


What this company is doing is finally something worth paying for--on demand video straight to your PC or PC-ready device. For a nominal monthly fee of abou $8, you get access to over 12,000 videos including movies and television, streamed in high quality (and some in high-def) straight to your computer. Were talking stuff you can't watch on Hulu.com for free, like old episodes of "Quincy, M.E.," old "Pink Panther" cartoons, and all the old classic movies and many recent releases, documentaries, and new TV series like "30 Rock," and "The Office."

So how does the Xbox come into this? Well Microsoft has a deal with Netflix so that Xbox "Gold" members (that's me!) and Netflix members (that's me too!) can watch those same videos on their home theater systems for no additional cost simply by streaming them through the Xbox wireless connection!!!! You simply visit the Netflix website, shop for you free videos, click a button, and watch them queue up on your high-def television.

The family spent Saturday night watching things we had long forgotten about. For instance, I had forgotten how passionate Quincy was as the county's Medical Examiner, and how, for an old man in his 60s, how fit he looked in tab collars and polyester pants. Those new CSI guys have nothing on him, except maybe better wardrobes. Rewatching that great show begs the question: "WWQD?"

Want the epitome of unrequited love? I never even knew there was a Valentine Charlie Brown special until I stumbled upon it while searching through the "Romance" category online (not to mention timeless classics like "It Happened One Night," "A Boyfriend for Christmas," "Cabaret," and "Scarface.")

I won't even go into all the awesome westerns you have available at your fingertips (if only there was a way to watch them in "fast forward" and still take in every gunshot, liquor shot, and spoken word . . . ) You've got movies like "Unforgiven," "Urban Cowboy (a Western?)," and the best western I've never heard of "The Ballad of Cable Hogue." There's even a FEW John Wayne movies (and one by a different guy, I think, named Jon Waine.)

Want war stories? There's a plethora you couldn't get to in a lifetime, even if you don't count watching all the movies in the "marriage" category. You've got "To Hell and Back" with John Wayne, Jr., Audie Murphy, the movie I simply cannot get of (making fun of) "Bataan," and a Kirk Douglas movie I never knew existed.

With unlimited access to so many movies, you can't go wrong! It's the Deal of the Century! (They have that too.)

Avoid the wife and kids, shirk you fatherly responsibilities and watch some movies using the trial and error method. You're sure to find at least one with an original plot combined with great acting (to skip right to it, check out "Godzilla 2000" starring that guy from Tokyo--he's amaaaaazing in it, and by "he," I mean Godzilla.)

I know it's only been a few days, but I'm sure this new Xbox Live/wireless internet adapter thing is going to change my life . . . . for the better or worse.


Anonymous said...

You need to send this to Netflix and maybe they will pay you for the wonderful endorsement. :)

PS. My spouse will not be reading this blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello. This is your wife. Remember me? [I'm the one cooking and cleaning around you.] I just wanted to say "hi" because I haven't talked to you in a few days.

Waiting for the XBox Live honeymoon to be over...

Anonymous said...

So who is getting the second job to pay for all this fun???? Well enjoy it and have fun until reality sets back in.