Wal-Mart is in the movie renting business now

By Tom DiFrancesca

I have something outrageous to share with you, and I’ve entitled it the “Internet absurdity of the week.” It seems as if a 12-year-old girl from England, connected up with a 31-year-old ex-Marine via the Internet. After a year of corresponding, the ex-jarhead traveled to England, and he and the young girl flew off to France. Of course, the youngster did not share her plans with her parents.
Speaking of her parents — would you like to know what their response was when they were interviewed by a United Kingdom newspaper? They said that they had recently become concerned about their daughter spending 11 hours a day on the Internet, on a regular basis.
Enough said?
(The ex-Marine has since been arrested, and the girl returned to her family.)
– In a past column I mentioned the ability to rent DVD movies over the Internet, and Netflix.com was pretty much the only source for that type of service.
Not anymore.
Just hop on over to:
www.walmart.com
and then click on “DVD Rentals”
Yep, that’s right folks, “Wally World” is now in the movie rental business. They’ve basically used Netflix as a model and improved on it. One major improvement being a shorter waiting period between movie arrivals. I found out Wal-mart’s secret for accomplishing that feat — they are better organized.
Netflix.com waits until they have your returned movie in their sweaty little hands and have processed its serial number into their computer system before even considering the possibility of sending out your next highly anticipated movie.
Wal-mart, on the other hand — has their computer system connected with the U.S. Postal Service — as soon as a DVD is picked-up by a mail carrier and dropped off at the Post Office, it is scanned and Wal-mart is notified of the pick-up. Since Wal-mart knows that you no longer have the DVD — it simply ships out your next one.
Pretty cool isn’t it?
The price is cheaper also — I’ll let you make the comparison yourself though. Just visit both sites and do some exploring.
– I have always extolled the virtues of Web sites like Switchboard.com and Bigfoot.com for locating people. I have found many a friend of a friend of a friend using these services — and a couple of long-lost relatives to boot.
Recently though, I wasn’t having any luck. My search was for my best friend from the eighth grade. Being a military brat though, and moving back and forth across the country a dozen times before graduating high school, made it tough for making friends — especially, best friends.
Then Robert “Bobby” Deleon came along.
It was in the small West Texas town of Colorado City, which can be found at:
coloradocitychamberofcommerce.com/
in the early ’70s and I was a complete stranger — but not for long.
When you’ve got a best friend, you really aren’t a stranger anymore. Our friendship only lasted about a year and a half though — then it was time to “ship out” to my dad’s next duty station.
Last weekend — something really cool happened, something that taught me there are still a lot of people who don’t have access to the Internet, or even a computer. That sometimes we get into a certain mind set and sometimes it takes a “coincidence” to shake us up and to get our attention.
That something did happen — and I’ll tell you all about it in next week’s column.

Tom DiFrancesca III is a freelance columnist and a resident of Clovis. He can be reached at:
tomdifran@ureach.com and www.trackertom.com