Toolie Travel Blog

A million-mile flyer talks about the life of a business traveler.

Newsletter: Entertainment on the Road and at Home

Well, my appreciation of the Kindle only increases as time passes.  I'm very pleased with having my 7" Kindle Fire HD as a regular companion.  I haven't done much travel lately (except back and forth to Seattle), but I certainly have made use of the Kindle whenever I'm in transit.  But I also watch TV while I work on tasks that don't require much brain power, like website link checking and data entry tasks.  I usually watch (or rather listen to) movies that I've already seen so that I'm not too distracted.

I've been watching the Amazon Instant Videos that are available as part of my Prime Membership, including my nightly dose of Mythbusters episodes.  Last week though, I took the next step in the permanent tethering of the Kindle to my day bag: I added Netflix streaming movies to my existing subscription to Netflix DVDs.

The Amazon Instant Movies in the Prime Membership are not available to McAlister's iPad, so I felt it was only fair that he have access to the same movies I had.  Or so I thought.  Amazon has a long way to go to match the availability of movies that Netflix has.

Wireless Movies Everywhere

McAlister and I are movie buffs.  I took up watching movies after I found myself single again in the early 1990s.  McAlister has a minor in film, meaning he studied the production aspects of filmmaking and actually made a few films himself.  When we first met, our standing date on Fridays was to leave the office a little early and catch the 5 pm showing at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.  We track actors' careers, discuss plot lines, appreciate good screen writing, and inhale great acting like the air we breathe.

We don't get to go OUT to the movies as much anymore, but we are no less enthusiastic about them.  So to have Netflix stream movies on my Kindle while I develop websites, and on his iPad he works on his wax sculptures, is positively heavenly.  Of course one needs high-speed Internet to stream that much data, so I'm now in negotiations with Comcast to get their high-speed connection into our house.  If you've ever dealt with Comcast, you know what I mean by "negotiations."  Don't get me started....

Leaving the DVDs at Home

It's time for me to get back on the road; long overdue in fact.  I'm looking forward to being able to throw my Kindle in my carry-on bag and not having to worry about my standard pack of movie DVDs disappearing from my checked luggage.  It's happened to me!  On one trip a couple of years ago, I lost over $200 worth of movies and even some software Cds, and I'm still angry with TSA over that little stunt.  Now I can carry just the Kindle (or just my laptop for that matter) and my Netflix subscription, and get movies wherever I can get a connection.

That's not to say I don't use my DVDs anymore; I still do.  Netflix doesn't have every movie I like to watch, so I am keeping my Netflix DVD subscription for the time being.

Not Just Movies

I mentioned the Mythbusters in passing, but I have to tell you that I'm thoroughly enjoying having free access to 9 seasons of their show as part of my Prime Membership.  I watch at least 1 episode every night as I get ready for bed.  It helps me unwind; it's completely different than what I do all day; I learn something new; and it's wonderful to watch people who love what they do.  I didn't get much science in my undergrad education, so I pick up some pretty interesting stuff along the way.

I've also put every season of Julia Child's The French Chef episodes on my Amazon Instant Video watch list, because my rather bland cooking needs some HELP!  I've also snagged 3 seasons of the original Star Trek TV show.  I will finally get to see all of them!

May you also find the portable movie-viewing device of your dreams...!
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