Monday, December 18, 2006

Technology has not been kind to our wallets . . . we are the generation that purchased the latest hits on 45 rpm records when the new Top 40 was published each week in junior high. In high school, we began buying albums that we could listen to on stereo systems in our bedrooms and supplemented our music libraries with 8 track tapes that made our favorites portable for a Friday or Saturday night of cruising downtown. Do you remember using a matchbook to balance the tape just right in the player?
Quickly we saw that cassette tapes were the wave of the future. More music in a smaller container -- no track changes in the middle of a song. We became adept at tightening the tape with a pencil in the wheels. We bought new music and also updated old favorites on the new medium.
Soon we saw the wave of the music future was in the compact disc. Hmmm . . . really, do we need to buy our favorites -- again? But the sound was so good, no hissing or popping like vinyl. The player didn't eat the discs the way 8 track and cassette tapes disappeared. So we began with a few essentials, filled in with 'Best Of' and hoped this would be the end of the line.
In the meantime, vcr's came on the market. We purchased our first vcr for a now ridiculous price, paid for a 'life-time' membership at the local video store and dove into the world of classic movies. Sometime in the 90's, The Princess grew weary of being our human vcr remote - 'Honey, can you press the button?' is a phrase she hopes to never hear again.
Soon renting videos gave way to purchasing our own movie library. We were certain that Christmas movies would be a wise investment -- movies we enjoy watching over and over again.
Somewhat reluctantly we purchased a dvd player. Could it really be that much better? We would still be looking at the same television. But it became increasingly difficult to find VHS movies and the writing was on the wall. We bought a combination vcr/dvd so we could continue to record favorite television shows.
Last year for Christmas, we gave ourselves a new dvd that records as well as plays. We moved the combo machine into the bedroom and felt smug that we purchased the latest technology before we were forced.
Fast forward to this past Saturday. Hubby and I planned a day of watching Christmas movies. A full line up of favorites. The ones we have been watching for years. The movies we count on to put us in the Christmas mood. It was a blustery rainy day, perfect to stay in pajamas all day long.
I opened the cabinet. I was stunned. None of the movies were on dvd. No Miracle on 34th Street, It's A Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Bells Of Saint Mary's, Holiday Inn, White Christmas. The video store loved us on Saturday.
p.s. We did have A Christmas Story, Elf, Frosty and Rudolph . . . don't want to leave you thinking our library is lacking *s* And we still have a working 8 track player in the stereo in the garage. It only plays on track 3, but it does a beautiful job. No matchbook required.

21 comments:

Sue said...

So true! I have about 30 VCR tapes of Simply Quilts, SIL tells me we can put them over to DVD somehow....arghhh!
Sometimes I wish I'd been born Amish, too late now, I'm hooked....

Patti said...

Oh yes - you bring back so many memories for me! My first LP record was Ricky Nelson - Poor Little Fool and Unchained Melody and others. I asked for it for Christmas and got it - I think I was in 5th grade. Didn't have that many 45's because I just didn't have the money to spend, but spent all the time at home with the transistor radio glued to my ear. We were teaching out in the toolies when the 8 track players came out so we missed that. Instead we bought a reel to reel that played through our stereo and recorded lots of LP selections into nice medley tapes. Didn't really get into the casette tapes either except for a few we played in the car when our new car came with a player. My sister and brother in law gave us our first DC player - it also hooked up to the stereo and played through it's speakers. And it held only one CD at a time!

Now we've just bought ourself each an Ipod for Christmas and have put all our CD's onto them. The CD's themselves will probably be put into the attic.

Technology certainly hasn't been kind to our wallets - I remember what we paid for our first Apple computer - over $3000 - and it didn't even have a hard drive! But I'd hate to be without any of the gadgets we have now.

Sue said...

We've experienced many of the same things you have. I'd hate to have to total up all the money we've spent over all these years..
(Much of it on things that are no really obsolete!)
:)

May Britt said...

I remember LOL
First having hundreds of LP music. And now I have a lot of vcr tapes and no videoplayer. And I have to start collecting dvd's. Love watching christmas movies. Till now I have seen Elf on tv and more to come.

Forgetmenot said...

Love your wreath. We found a pile of abandoned 8track cassettes in the attic when we moved here - I'd never laid eyes on any before! And it's interesting that the shops in Glasgow (our nearest big city) are now stocking more LPs than a few years ago - are some people looking for music that is not 'sterile'? Surely the same wouldn't happen with film...what a scary thought...our bookshelves groan with DVDs...

Carol said...

Amen...wow that sure was a walk down memory lane...couldn't have been truer. When we moved 2 years ago I'll bet we gave 200 albums and some 45's to the older man down the street that sold them at a flea market to make extra money. We both have IPods now, I just have to wonder how long it will be before they are obsolete...probably after I download 1000 songs on mine.

Screen Door said...

I enjoyed the 'walk' down memory lane. I still have my Shaun Cassidy and Beach Boys 8 tracks....nothing to play them on but the collectionis in tack...

The Calico Cat said...

This sounds so familiar on so many levels...

We finally have cable, with all of those CSI/Cold Case style shows on cable, I am not sure when I would have "time" to watch a video... Oh and the Cooking shows and the crafting shows &, &, &

McIrish Annie said...

I think you have a camera set up in our house!! We have gone the same route. Although my DH is a serious music collector, he has taken over our coat closet to hold all of his CDs, over 1000 and all cataloged.

We have sattelite and a DVR so we record everything and there is never enuf time to watch it all!

Technology is wonderful but sometimes all i want is to sit down with a good book and some quiet.

Judy said...

Looks like Santa needs to hit the Best Buy or Walmart before chirstmas day and bring a few extra things to your house!!

We watched the requisite 5 or so Christmas movies this past weekend! Hubby had never seen A Christmas Story before? Where was he all these years that I have watched it?

My parents has the big stero console in the living room so we weren't really bought our own stereos until we were much older but I think a box of 8 tracks still lurks somewhere in my mom's attic! We bought an ipod and an ipod "shuffle" this past summer and both use them to listen to most of our cd's now. I even am ready to add my Harry Potter books on CD to them so I can hear them better when I sew!!

Dawn said...

I LOVED your story, and it is so true! And the same thing I'm struggling with right now. We had to hook up the VHS player so we could watch our xmas movies too!

Chris said...

OK-those of us who had 8-track players are dating ourselves!

Love the wreath quilt.

paula, the quilter said...

I never did the 8-track thing. Jumped from LPs to cassettes. I have over 600 LPs. Believe it or not, I have never given them up. I did forsee not being able to get cartridges for the turntable so in the late 1980s I bought 3 cartridge/needle combos. I'm on the last one. Thank goodness you can buy them again! I bought a CD burner for the STEREO!! and can burn my LPs onto CD, download to the computer, then to the iPod. TheKid loves the LPs because he says the hissing and popping from the scratches on the vinyl add dimensionality. I guess he should know, he did his internship at a record company in LA. Told me not to get rid of the LPs! So I'm a holdout on the music end.

I have satellite with DVR. But also have a lot of VCR tapes (still have 2 working VCRs, too). But TheKid has a friend that is working on setting up a system to download the video tapes into the computer, translate it to some (computer-type) format that can then be burnt onto DVD. I told him to let me know when he has a working system!

Love the quilt.

Katie said...

I have some of my grandmother's one sided 78 records. Sure wish I had her old Victrola. Also other 78's. Then there are some of my dad's and my 45's. I have Elvis. Then My dad had a lot of 8 track but those were lean and busy married years for me. CDs and the kids gave us a Beta player as it was suppose to be clearer than VCR. I had all the 8mm film and a ton of slides that my dad took when the kids were small put on VCR for the kids. Should move it to DVD huh? Interesting to think of time moving along this way and lots of memories.

Finn said...

Hi Libby, what a wonderful stroll down memory lane with you. Probably because my life has followed such a similar path. My first records were 45's, followed by the marvelous 33 1/3's..LOL Long Play..marvelous improvement!And right on up through the DVS's. But I haven't bought one that records..a bit too high tech for me!
And we missed the 8 tracks totally by being in the AF at that time. Not enough money for much of anything.
It's been a fun journey. Hugs, Finn

Tracey said...

Oh my gosh, I hear ya on this one!! It gets rather frustrating, doesn't it? Stop already, would they?

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

Libby, This is just a test!

Hedgehog said...

Love the wreath!

Linda_J said...

yep, always the next best thing. DJ and I are trying to learn how to use the DVR now that we switched satellite dish companies. The few times I have tried to record in my unit, I have also recorded it to his--something is not quite right in my process but who has time to read the whole manual? Then the free ipod will come and I'll have to learn how to do that too, LOL.

Love that quilt!

Shelina said...

Oh I LOVE those "Best of" collections. I have quite the collection of records and my new record player broke. I bought it just when they were going out. I guess I need to get myself another VCR too, for all my tapes.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Just too true! All that money!
I love your wreath, I think that will be a great idea for next year. Happy Christmas, tracey