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Home Video a Big Part of Our Lives

28 Jul, 2008 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Warning: No serious stuff this week. I'm stepping down from my soapbox to write what we in the journalism business call a “slice of life” column, coming on the tail end of the Arnold family's 2008 summer vacation.

During our 11-day, nearly 3,000-mile roadtrip from our home in Carlsbad, Calif., to Yosemite, Sacramento, the Pacific Northwest and, ultimately, Vancouver, it became abundantly clear how ingrained we have become in the home video lifestyle.

  • On the way up, we slipped Semi-Pro into the DVD player and watched for several minutes until we realized the abundance of bad language probably wasn't appropriate for Hunter, the 6-year-old.

  • Conner, the 10-year-old, suggested Alvin and the Chipmunks as an alternative. But when we put it in the player, nothing happened. Alas — we had accidentally packed the Blu-ray Disc version. “We don't even have it on DVD,” Conner remarked sadly. “I wish we had a Blu-ray player in the car.”

  • Driving into Oregon, I began seeing Hollywood Video signs all along the freeway but resisted the urge to take a picture. For some reason, I began thinking about Chris Roberts of Rentrak, which is based in Portland, Ore.

  • Somewhere along the way — it might have been in Washington, in a small town called Kalama — I saw a combination video store and candy shop. Again, I fought back the impulse to take a picture.

  • Entering Canada, we drove by the Peace Arch. I flashed back to this year's Home Media Expo in Las Vegas, where I spent some time with the executives from Peace Arch Home Entertainment. This time I did take some pictures.

  • Driving north out of Vancouver toward the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain, I pointed out to the kids that we were crossing the Lions Gate Bridge. “Isn't that a studio?” Conner asked.

  • For the drive home I am going to have to break down and buy some DVDs for the kids to watch in the car. There's an HMV video store just down the street from my hotel I'm just itching to check out.

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