Goodbye Blockbuster, Hello Zip.ca

When we moved to Regina I thought it would be nice to be close to a movie rental store like Blockbuster. It had been at least six years since I had lived in the city and I was certain that the local BlockBuster would have a better selection of movies than the gas station down the street. Well it has been roughly a year and while the BlockBuster did have a few more movies than the gas station down the street in the town we used to live in it came at a cost.

The gas station only charged $.99 to rent a movie in the town we used to live in. Ok they did not always have the latest release, but there are not new kids movies coming out every week anyways. A new release at BlockBuster you are looking at over $5.00. Even older family movies are $1.99 and then they try to convince you to rent it for a week with a rude customer service person that gets annoyed at you for turning them down. I guess that is the cost of living in the big city, but it does not mean I have to like it.

Why do people put up with late fees any more? The last movie I rented from BlockBuster I returned the day it was due after supper. I would have dropped it into their return slot around 6pm. Was it late, I suppose so. Went to rent a movie tonight and there is a late fee on my account for that last movie. It was not checked back into their system until after 11pm! It is not the amount of the late fee that is the problem. It was an extra day rental of the movie, but I am tired of late fees being charged to my account, especially when it took them five hours to check the movie back in. No more! Most of the movies the kids like to rent I can find at the library and for newer ones I am going to look into a subscription to Zip.ca. They are like Netflix in the US. DVD’s by mail. Send them back when you are done and get another one. Is it more expensive that Blockbuster, not considering that I never have a late fee to worry about!

The other big reason I am never going back to BlockBuster is just the sheer lack of customer service! I am sick and tired of rude customer service representatives. No wonder BlockBuster as a company is in the toilet. When you treat all your customers as if they are criminals then you will not have customers for very long. They must take their customer service training from the RIAA in the US!

So goodbye BlockBuster, I will not miss you! Hello Zip.ca! I look forward to trying your service and never paying a late fee again. I just wish Zip.ca had a streaming option like Netflix does. I have heard it is coming, that will make them pretty much perfect! If you try them out try entering the Redeem Code TWITTER to extend your free trial. I’ll let you know how it goes.

School Starts

Today was the first day of school after a great and relaxing summer. I have to admit that I was not looking forward to my kids going back to school. My son started grade 1 this year and my daughter is in preschool 5 days a week. It adds up to a new routine for all of us.

The day overall went pretty good. I think my son was a little taken back that he was going to have his own desk. School is not like Kindergarten anymore. When he got home though he was pretty happy about the day and proudly informed me that I had homework to do. Nothing to serious, just had to read the information the teacher sent home with him. I can handle that kind of homework.

Taking my daughter to preschool today was harder than I thought it would be. Not on her, but on Dad. She was cheery and had no problem with Mom and Dad leaving her there. She had found some new toys to play with and was content. Preschool will be good for her. She has made some great progress in her speech and this preschool is designed to help kids with verbal apraxia. She has been doing well with her speaking lately. It is like she has decided she needs to start talking, and has started using more words and sentences. We know from the past that the more she practices a sound and word that she can master it and it will become automatic.

People always tell you to enjoy the time you have with your kids when they are young because they grow up fast. While that may or may not be true, I do know that it will be a busy school year.

The Church of the Riders

Last week a friend of mine invited me to goto the Riders games versus Montreal. I am not a huge sports fan, something my wife is usually grateful for, but I do enjoy watching the Riders. I suppose it is part of growing up in Saskatchewan, particularly in Regina. While the whole province supports the Riders, Regina tends to be more over the top than most of the other places in the province. I had not been to a home Rider game since I was in High School, so I was looking forward to going to the game. There is something about going to a home Riders game that makes it a religious experience.

There are not very many places you can go where 30,000 plus people are all cheering for the same outcome. There is a group mentality that takes over and people lose their individual sense of self cheering for the team. Of course this can easily turn to into a mob, just add alcohol and cheering for the home team can turn ugly pretty quickly.

I enjoyed the game, and it was an interesting experience to be a part of the church of the Riders for a few hours. It would be interesting to go to another game where the Riders win and be in a different section to see what it is like there. The section I was in was mostly a college aged crowd, and as much as I do not like to admit it, I am not a college boy any more.

Enjoy the photos I took with my phone and posted to Twitter.

Full house! on Twitpic

Half time. Riders 8 Montreal 14 on Twitpic

Nice outfits guys! on Twitpic

Gainer the Gopher. on Twitpic