The epic quest to borrow a VCR

I decided to make this amusing blog post and promise followups as the story unfolds. I have a simple problem:

I have a small box of VHS tapes that I want to digitize to my computer, in order to save the video content indefinitely (ish, lets be real about codecs and file types).  I don’t have a VCR.

Sounds simple right?  Just borrow a VCR from someone.

First angles of attack: ask my parents. I know for a fact my parents have a VCR. What I wasn’t expecting in return is that they still use it. I am a full time IT professional and basically build infrastructure. Every day I play and use stuff that is the internet. Hearing that my mom still uses her VCR every day to “record [her] soaps” is downright embarrassing. Furthermore unplugging her VCR would result in a catastrophe from “WHY IS IT BLINKING 12:00?!” phone calls followed by messed up timing schedules on precious Days of Our Lives.

One would argue, “Why don’t you just go to your parent’s house and hook up a laptop?”.  You see, as a tech guy, that invites endless tech support for everything else that is ailing them. When I stop over for dinner, I typically have to fix antiviruses, apply windows updates that somehow defy automation, and worst: show them how to use their iPhones. Its endless tech support. Is it worth a home cooked meal? Someday’s no. It is not. I love my parents, but wow are some of their tech issues endless and bizarre.

The in laws I think have a VCR but we see them less. Similar issue about using their VCR at their house. I end up doing Android support for my brother in law (who is a great guy) but can’t use his Android. I own and have always owned an iPhone. I feel horrible when I have to help him with his phone since I even have to google the answers.  They visit us very rarely so having them bring a VCR over is probably out of the question.

My two brothers are in similar states as I, having rid themselves of a functional VCR years and years ago.

My coworker, who is native to India mind you and here on visa, laughed when I told him I couldn’t find a VCR. He asked if America is that developed that it doesn’t have one I could buy. There in lies part of the issue too: I don’t want to pay money for a VCR.

I read an article once from some minimalist who says he “rents things from Craigslist”. IE: he buys the item outright like a chainsaw for example, then resells the item after he is done to someone else. This sounds practical in theory, basically shuffling stuff from person to person or perhaps to a hoarder who doesn’t need it. But after doing my 101 Things challenge I detest using Craigslist for anything other than me buying something I really want or need. The thought of having to resell a $1 VCR to strangers makes me almost suicidal. I’d rather smash it in the street for a laugh on YouTube than go through the process of reselling a VCR on craigslist. But even then I don’t want to buy something just to use it one weekend and throw it away. Such waste and then that Native American from the littering commercial shows up on my door step with his single heart-piercing tear.

No, I am committed to borrowing a VCR! Someone somewhere HAS to have one I can borrow with a reasonable amount of effort and travel.

I will post a followup blog post when I find one. Until then: adjust your tracking and be kind rewind!

Reasons to enjoy this Monday

Today so far has been a great day! Its the first day back from Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Everyone is mostly back to work this morning. I noticed that a lot of people wander in like zombies. Almost bitter to be back in the office. Instead I chose to take the high road and celebrate today. So many reasons I can think of just from a quick list:

  • I woke up perfectly happy, with a good sleep. My wake up light alarm clock slowly and peacefully started my day. I didn’t hit snooze once!
  • I ate a quick breakfast and still had plenty of time without rushing.
  • During breakfast my son who typically is a pain to wake up in the morning wandered down and ate some cereal too. We had a few laughs at my new automated Christmas tree.  (Don’t ask)
  • After breakfast I pounded out the last thousand words on my NaNoWriMo novel! Woot. Winner winner chicken dinner. Done with yet another novel. I will make a separate post about these in the future.
  • My commute to work, despite being drizzly, was easy. No issues at all.
  • At work my work computer for some reason wouldn’t let my type the letter “p”. Most people would lose it on a Monday morning but I had a good chuckle at crafting emails all day that didn’t have a P in them. A simple reboot and re-seating all the cables seemed to have cleared up that amusing ‘roblem.
  • I cleared a few tasks off my to do within the first hour of the day
  • I drank this killer cup of tangerine / assam black tea. It smelled so good, and was the perfect temp to sip during an hour long phone conference call.
  • So far, each hour of the day I have gotten up and taken a short 1-2 minute walk. My Apple watch seems happy with me right now, and that’s all that’s important.
  • Despite being the one sole guy working last week, everything kept running and there were no IT fires. Woot!

So, I am going to keep up the momentum into the afternoon too.  I looked up my company’s cafeteria menu for this week and decide which days I want to pack. I already picked out some healthy choices for lunches.  No last second decisions leading to terrible choices.

My watch is reminding me it’s time for my 11 am walk. Peace out.