What is your time worth? The answer, arguably, is impossible to determine. Take for instance, Netflix. For those of you on Mars, Netflix is a genius service where you order DVD’s online and they get mailed to you. You can take as long as you want before you watch them, and when you’re done, you mail ’em back. No late fees, no shipping charges. I’ve been a member since June, 2000 and I’ve never even considered cancelling it. In fact, I just received an email from Netflix that my monthly bill for the service (it’s subscription based) is going down. As a sidenote, the email from Netflix tells me that the price is going down because they wanted to do something nice for their customers. Blah! If you believe that, I have a bridge….

What’s really going on is probably no different than the auto industry or the computer business – price pressure and competition. There’s been rumors of Amazon getting into this space. Walmart and Blockbuster have already dove in, to little or no fanfare. So Netflix may not lose customer, but shareholders are probably breathing a little heavier – they know the margins are getting squeezed.

Anyway, back to my original question – what is your time worth? What is mytime worth? I’m on a Netflix program that allows me to have four movies at a time for basically $18 per month. On average, I’d say Stephanie and I watch 3-4 movies per month. If we were to just go to the local video rental place and rent 3-4 movies per month on DVD at an average price of $3.50 (just a guess on price, someone tell me if I’m wrong), that would be $12.25 per month ($3.50 x 3.5 movies). So I’m dealing with roughly $5 per month in additional cost. However, is paying the extra five bucks worth not having to drive to the store, or worry about watching a movie in “X” time frame so I don’t get a late fee? Not to mention the time I save by simply going to my mailbox for pickup or dropoff of a movie. I think it’s well worth it. Do you?

Yesterday I attended an AHL hockey game in Worcester, Mass. The AHL is one level below the NHL, which means the AHL is the best hockey you’ll see right now, because the NHL is too busy doing their impression of a spoiled rotten brat. Yesterday’s game featured the Manchester (NH) Monarchs vs. the Worcester IceCats. The Monarchs won the game 5-4, but there’s two other things I’d like to point out here:

1) Going to an AHL game is a hell of a deal. We paid $16 per ticket and had second row, right on the glass. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but if you don’t like hockey or don’t think you’ll like it, go to one of these games and sit that close. I might even offer to give you your money back if you don’t think it’s electrifying. I’m talking about the AHL here – not the NHL. If I were the NHL commish, first thing I’d do is shave 10 teams off the league so the NHL could be as exciting to watch again. It’s been ten years for me and running now since I’ve been truly blown away by an NHL game. Anyway, we’re lucky up here because we’ve got several AHL choices in Worcester, Providence, Lowell and Manchester. Good stuff.

2) What the hell got into Worcester, Mass?!?!?! Suddenly there’s a bevy of new, modern buildings, restaurants, medical labs and general cleanliness in the downtown area. If they’re not careful, they might even start getting people to move there! Heh. Actually, it’s beyond me why there’s hasn’t been more people moving there – the house prices are dirt cheap and it’s not that far from Boston anymore, in the commuter’s mind. What they need to do, maybe, is run an MBTA high-speed express train straight to Boston. Do they do that? I don’t think they do. That might get people there.

By the way, we’re going on a month-and-a-half now with no use of our kitchen, with no specific end in sight. I do not recommend this.

On a more serious note, NBC reporter Kevin Sites was witness to last week’s incident in Iraq where a Marine appeared to cross the line by shooting an unarmed insurgent in a Mosque. Sites witnessed the incident and reports on his weblog what he saw. Captivating and sad.

Song now playing: Ryan Adams – “To Be Young”