The VCR project


On the Honey-Do list I placed a humdinger of a project for my husband. Convert all of our old VCR tapes to DVDs. Sounds easy, right? HA! I get these crazy ideas and lately I’ve been on a mission. As I am cleaning out closets and purging the unnecessary, I have uncovered boxes and boxes and boxes of VCRs. They have littered our drawers and now it’s time to do something about it. “NOW!” she cheerfully bellows to her doting DH.  Double HA!

We ordered a VCR/DVD converter and after many attempts, my good man has figured it out. In order to preserve our marriage, I told him I wanted nothing to do with this project and have deferred to his good judgment, (most of the time). He has risen to the task and will hopefully be finished sometime before the DVD becomes extinct and I’ve given him yet another gargantuan chore. 

Completing this job, is not easy to do partially because we made it more complicated thanks to our very stupid video techniques.

I shall now confess… 

I mistook the on and off button and captured hours and hours of nothing. Example – when my brother got married, I lugged the clunky camera to the reception wanting to capture special moments of the happy occasion. Apparently I forgot to turn off the camera. I set the camera down on a chair still in “record” mode and now we have about 45 minutes of compelling close up footage of the upholstery. In addition to hearing all the background sounds of the wedding reception, you can hear the whirl of the video camera as it attempts to try to figure out what in the world it’s supposed to be taping! 
In addition, we didn’t label most of the VCR tapes. If you like a bit of mystery, this is the way to go. You will never, ever know what you’re looking at and that keeps things really exciting! 

And if we labeled a tape, one of us knuckleheads advanced the tape about 30 minutes and then taped new material from oh, say, 5-7 years later. In other words, everything jumps around. You are in a very funky time warp.

As crazy as this process has been, I am relieved to be retrieving old memories.  I’m laughing one minute watching my babies and tingle inside at the sight of their soft faces. Then I hear their squeaky voices and I want to cry. Although I desperately love my big boys now, I could burst into tears at this very minute as I wistfully recall those times. 

The little boy who was  is almost finished with his plebe year at West Point was a toe-headed leader almost from the start. Last weekend, this same child successfully completed an 18 mile ruck and earned a German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency to don on his uniform.

The chunky toddler with a husky voice, is a tender-hearted musician /thespian/athlete. We have footage of him fake karate-chopping his baby brother as he swings innocently in the baby chair. Aaron remains my expressive boy but there’s muscle, arm pit hair, a young man is emerging.

And then there’s my Orange Love (Ike). In one movie, my youngest OS is sucking on his paci and I’m lugging him around on my hip. He can’t say a word but you still knew that Ike needed/demanded/expected something. Oh my, if I could just reach right into the television screen and squeeze him again – 

Dozens and dozens of tapes and memories await. I’m going forward but looking behind, it’s a bittersweet journey. 

5 thoughts on “The VCR project

  1. Please tell me what machine you got to do this and….how much was it (is that rude)where you bought it, etc….I have been bugging my husband to do this for years. I need ammo to get this project going.Thanks1.My goal is to convert all video to dvd2.Next I want to edit into categories.For example: All Christmas footage or each child’s birthday…so that we can watch categories.3. We have taken tons of stuff and we have rarely even watched it!Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  2. My DH bought a Memorex MVDR2101 Suffix A (?) on Ebay for $130. It was a little difficult to install but he figured it out. He had to use 4.7g DVD-R for it to work. As far as documenting things, Mark bought a binder and CD storage flaps. He puts a little note on each CD and then intends to make individual CD labels for each CD. He is currently trying to get a CD label unstuck out of his printer…poo. He’s got about 40 more tapes to go including those little tapes that we used with yet another camcorder. Oh joy!Let me know if you have any more questions. I think your DH needs to get started on this project if he really loves you. How’s that for pressure???

  3. OK, I am truely inspired now! That is a project of epic proportions!!! This summer is the time to do it!!! Thanks for the inspiration – hopefully I’ll be able to talk my husband into getting on board! LOL Way to go!!!

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