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How 'bout a movie?

Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007, at 9:38 PM

Friday night was a good evening for a movie or two, or so I thought. I believe it’s been at least two years, probably more, since I’ve rented a movie. There are so few good ones around, so I hadn’t been to a movie in ages and I haven’t had the time to devote nearly two solid hours to sitting and watching one all the way through.

So, I convinced myself to devote Friday evening to movie watching and nothing but movie watching. My choices were “On a Clear Day” and “The Pursuit of Happyness” (even though I thought Happiness should have been spelled correctly).

There was just one problem with this plan. Several months ago a dear friend, who thought it was about time I got in touch with the real world, gave me a DVD player, brand new, still in the box. It took a few more months to have a son come and hook it all up for me. The only problem was that I needed a power strip, the aforementioned child stated, to accommodate the cord extending from the back of the DVD player. He did, however, manage to connect it to run through the VCR that was in place and run it through the opening on the rear of the entertainment center, all ready to plug in. All I needed to do was to get a power strip.

Well, that was over a month ago, so when I decided Friday evening to watch my movies of choice, of course I had no recall of the need for a power strip (that was a month ago for God’s sake, and just why do they call them ‘strips’...there’s nothing removed). Anyway, I brought the movies home and looked so forward to a night devoted to their viewing. The plan was quickly thwarted, however, when I found that I couldn’t even plug the DVD in (I actually looked for VHS copies of the movies involved, but the VHS versions are now obsolete, much like this author, I fear). Not to be undone, I decided to simply run an extension from the DVD player to another plug-in for the purpose of watching the movies, even though anyone entering through the front door would likely trip and break their face.

SO, I proceeded to pull the cord back through the little hole in the back of the entertainment center in order to plug it into an alternative spot. No doing. Not happening. I even tried hammering the plug through from the backside. Didn’t work. The hole was too small and I was bending the prongs with application of the hammer. Don’t know how the aforementioned son ever got it through, but it was not about to come out. SO, the remedy, in short, involved a serrated-edged steak knife (oh, the ex would roll over in his grave if he had one) and a little womanpower. An hour and 20 minutes later, SUCCESS! I’d compare it to daylight being sought in The Shawshank Redemption. It was a breakthrough, quite literally. I had finally sawed away enough plywood or oak or whatever, to allow enough space to drag the width of the plug through.

SO, I proceeded then to attach the extension cord and rejoiced at the sight of the power light turning red. I grabbed up “On a Clear Day” and pressed the “open” button, one of only three on the DVD player. No reaction. None. Zilch. No open. I tried every combination on both remotes, the TV and the DVD, and nothing. The little slot of a door refused to open. It would make a sound like it was thinking about it, but would then reconsider and retire. My ex once told me that I had the mechanical aptitude of a stump, and he wasn’t far from being correct, but I knew I’d done everything in my power to make this work and it refused. There were powers beyond my own at work here.

I resorted to watching my usual CNN and 20/20 and devoured three bags of popcorn (those cute little 100 calories each bags, so it was ok),but I never got to watch the movies.

It’s Sunday night and my movies are still unviewed. I’ve read the jacket synopsis on both a few times, so I have a good idea of what I’m missing, but it’s just not quite the same.

I HAVE learned something in this venture, however. There is a good reason why Movie Gallery rents movies for a five-day period. I have three more days to try to find a solution to the little door opening. My greatest fear is that once that goal is achieved, it won’t shut.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Hahahaha! Minnie, you have expressed the frustration of fully 35% of the viewing public with this commentary on the Evils of Technology!! I have had to exercise great restraint in not strangling a poor young salesman who informed me that Hastings did not sell VHS tapes anymore!

In fact, I recently learned from one of those kindergarteners who work at the stores that the LAST MOVIE recorded on VHS was the last Batman movie. (whenever that was) Nowadays, NONE of the new movies are coming out on VHS.

Instead, they are putting them on the "vastly superior" DVD's, which (as they fail to tell us) are highly prone to scratching and are thus NOT the permanent, indestructible entities we have been led to believe!

Now I know how Grandma must have felt when the victrola became obsolete...

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 7:16 AM

Minnie and GL, you are a couple of geniuses!! I think you have hit upon a new business idea: The recording of VHS copies of movies only available on DVD! The movie distributors aren't interested in the VHS market anymore because they think it is too small to make money. But there is a definite niche market of people who still want movies on VHS. All you have to do is make a deal to pay a certain royalty for each movie copied (To the distributors it would be like free money.), and publicize the business on the Internet. It might wind up doing a landslide business?!?

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 9:57 PM

Well, once again, it just shows how the marketers are not concerned with the over...what?..30 generation? All they wanta do is sell stuff to the kids!

My question - If the so-called "Baby Boomer" generation is so gosh-darned BIG, why isn't more stuff marketed to them??

I realize that I just missed being a boomer, but I'm not too far off, and if I'M having trouble with this fast-moving technology, the boomers must be in the same boat, mustn't they?

Is the problem that we "older folks" don't run out and fritter our entire pension on high tech gadgets? Is that it? Is it that we SAVE our money, and we're being punished for being frugal??

Marketing stinks!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 7:45 AM

Ladies-why are you paying store price for vhs? EVERYTHING is for sale on Ebay or Half-com.Make sure when you buy they send it Media Mail-much cheaper rates for books,music or movies! I buy my nieces and nephews Barney/Thomas the Tank Engine,etc. VHS tapes on Half.Com all the time.I have never had a bad experience yet. Or...

When your kids ask what you want for gifts,tell them you want them to buy THEMSELVES a VHS/DVD recorder where they can record dvd's to vhs and send you the movies you want to see,or let them troll on ebay for the gems you want to see!

You are helping them-we never know what Mom really wants,(besides our presence)and this way everybody feels good about gift giving!

I mean,unless you have a Dept.56 or Snowbaby you must have,then please tell US!!! We are slow to hints.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 9:08 AM

Well, there, Yellow Rose, you have a perfectly logical, up-to-date technological answer to all our old, out-dated problems!

Let's see...I've heard of ebay but have no idea about Half.com - much less Dept.56 or Snowbaby!

It sounds to me as if you are the perfect daughter - generous and hip to current trends! I'm sure that Minnie is as envious as I am!! (Daughter, are you listening??)

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 7:34 AM

The only solution I have found to this situation, Minnie, is to permanently ban anything containing three letters from my home. DVD, VCR, VHS - I think it's a Communist plot! Think about it...OLD, PEE, FLU, RUM (well...there are certain exceptions), PIG, URN, FAT, UPS, MEN - would you REALLY want any of these in your home? STD? See what I mean - A Communist plot I tell you!

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 4:47 PM

Hmmmmmm, I think you're on to something!

-- Posted by bringwine on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 4:49 PM

Thank you GL-I have had a real yucky day-I actually broke a heel(a first),got a run,and lucky me when I got to work (finally) I had upset clients ready to take my head off,only to find out they were at the wrong office (pheww).

The Dept.56 and Snowbabies are some sort of cute,porcelain dustables that some of the older women in my family collect,to be displayed at Christmas,but put back up should children come near.They are kept in the same box all year until Thanksgiving,then they magically re-appear.

Half.Com is a site with Ebay that sells movies,books and music,but where the SELLERS compete to have lower prices.It is an instant buy (no bidding),but you need a credit card for most purchases.

Not only can you find millions of things,but like Ebay,if you want something you can't find,you can list what you are looking for!

I've got an uncle who checks Ebay for everything and has bought a car and an RV,and sells a lot through them too.

Parents are tough to buy for,grandparents are worse,but I'm just happy I still have both-I dread the day they are gone.

Yes GL,after using Madeline's local getaways for a coupon book, I really think I have "preferred child" status. (In all fairness,her Majesty's quilt was a pretty awesome anniversay gift for them).

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 6:05 PM

Wow! Double whammy on the advice column: Yellow Rose and Cake Lady! You gals have the formula down pat! Avoid everything with three letters, and buy all your stuff on ebay!!

Dear Abby, eat your heart out!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Oct 24, 2007, at 7:04 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
It should be noted that a return trip was made to Movie Gallery on Wednesday, at which time two movies were returned, unwatched I might add. It seems that even after assistance via phone from a son, via on the spot from a daughter, on site help from a co-worker, and encouragement from a Wal-Mart employee in electronics who insisted, "You won't have any problem with this adaptor, believe me..it's easy." I quickly informed him that he had no idea what he was dealing with here.

I now know what is wrong and how to resolve the issue, but the movies are back on the shelf at Movie Gallery, so why should I bother to resolve it? I'll wait till I have another movie and another five days to figure out how to watch it. On to other things.

Bless your heart.Sounds like something that would happen to me.The movie:The Pursuit of Happiness,if it is the one I watched the othe night,get out the puff's ,you are going to need them.It is a very good movie,But you are going to cry.

-- Posted by angelbots2003 on Thu, Oct 25, 2007, at 6:18 PM

The trouble with your plan, Minnie, is that by the time you get another movie, you will have forgotten how to solve the problem. That's what happens to me. It doesn't do me any good to learn to to those new things, because the next time I need to do it, I CAN'T REMEMBER HOW!!! ARG!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Oct 25, 2007, at 6:33 PM

Minnie-come out, come out,wherever you are (unless it's in Sean Connery's bed just as he's signing the Estate plans "to my beloved hot Minnie,who keeps me shaken and stirred" as he clutches his chest).

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Sat, Oct 27, 2007, at 8:11 AM

Good Heavens Yellow Rose! You may be right! Let's not disturb her! In fact, perhaps I should prepare a little snack for dear Mr. Connery.

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Sat, Oct 27, 2007, at 10:53 AM

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