I am an unabashed Old Techy. In my opinion, DVDs were the dumbest invention ever. Music CDs were a close second. Why did we have to be so danged careful with something that cost $15-$20, an item which a single scratch (or sometimes NOT EVEN a scratch) would make it unusable?
I ask you! It was a ripoff. A conspiracy. And totally lame. We’d listened to our Phineas and Ferb CD in our car on the 57 hour road trip last spring about six times when suddenly, kaput. It just scratched itself. Inside the CD player. Granted, at that point, a whiff of gratitude wafted through me. A seventh time through that CD might’ve caused me permanent damage.
At least we’ve come to the point where a lot of stuff is just digital download now, and we can at least store it for future use, or re-burning. And of course, there’s the heaven sent blessing of online streaming. Other than the occasional (or frequent) buffering issue, those are not “scratchable.”
But, back to my point. I love (don’t cringe) VHS tapes. Love them. They are so user friendly. You can pile them up, no cases, in brown paper bags in your hot garage for two years, whip one out and play it. I have tapes that are 30+ years old that play fine. Former rentals that act like they’re newborn babes. With five kids? What’s the only logical option for movies at home? VHS. And what was easier than those old VHS cameras for making home movies? Pop in the tape, film something, pop out the tape, watch it. INSTANT VIEWING. No fuss. No messy cords. No deciding where to store the files. No worries about what if your computer crashed and you lost all your family memories.
Of course, that necessitates yard sale combing for back up VHS players. I’ve got a couple on hand for when my current VHS player dies. Gotta do it, since I have a decade worth of home movies on VHS, besides a bunch of oldies but goodies that I’ve never seen up on Netflix yet. Friends know that when they’re dejunking their homes, I’m going to be a sucker for their video collections, and I’ve gleaned some real finds from it. Oh, and some lame movies, too. Of course.
I know hipsters really go for vinyl, but although I love it and had good times dancing to “Dancin’ Queen” on my ABBA LP album as a little girl, the hipsters can have the vinyl. Me, I feel more affection for cassette tapes for my music.
The hissing sound of the tape player aside, they were great! And easy to record on too, as little kids. Push a button, talk, stop, rewind, play it back and hear your own voice. You better believe I’ve got a tape player for my kids to mess around with. And for me to relive the 80s soundtrack of my life on occasion. Books on tape? Good times. And there are a lot of those still hanging around. Lots better longevity than stupid books on CD, which, as you know, get scratched. Easily. Lame!
When I was car shopping for my husband (to replace our 1993 Saturn that died a couple of years ago), I think the feature that sealed the deal for me on the ’98 Blazer I bought him was not the low miles. It was the tape deck. Ooh! I could finally listen to my “Cool Rock” compilation tape while jamming down the highway again. Corey Hart’s “Never Surrender” and John Waite’s “Ain’t Missin’ You” sound great as the miles of desert go speeding past. As does Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
I guess the thing that has this on my mind right now is I can’t find my “Newsies” movie in my collection. My kids have been listening to the Newsies soundtrack relentlessly all summer, and they keep asking me about the plot of the film, but I can’t find my VHS of it. So, friends, is anybody out there dejunking? Anybody wishing for a good home for an old VHS friend? Give me a call!
I’m your old-tech girl.