There was an awful storm about a week ago. It knocked the power out for a few minutes at the house. When the power returned, some things were not back–the internet was out for hours.
After going back and forth with my internet provider about this, they insisting there were no outages in my area, I went down to my basement office to look at things. As I got closer and closer to my desk I noticed everything was off. No computer, no lights on my router, or lights on my modem.
I went out to the breaker box, sure enough, the breaker labeled “Basement Outlets” was off. Simply flipping it back on didn’t help either, it went right back off again. After a day long process of trial and error, it turned out that lighting ran in on the surge protector that powers my home theater. This is what was tripping the breaker. I bought a new surge protector, and hooked everything back up–not a small task as the back of my Home Theater is a dense jungle of cords, cables, and wires.
Plugged in, I flipped the power switch on the new surge protector. A click was heard and then it all went off again. There was still something in the long chain of equipment causing the breaker to trip. When I finally discovered what it was my heart sank. The source of the power surge was my VCR. The VCR that has been in my family for decades. I realize what you may be saying right now. “Andy, it’s 2017. Who uses a VCR anymore?” I’ll tell you who does. Committed movie freaks like me! That’s who!
In addition to all the DVDs and blu-rays and–in my case–laserdiscs, there are countless hours of rare and hard to find movies I have on VHS. A few years ago I began an effort to convert the more obscure of the material to DVD, so the loss isn’t as great as it may sound. But still, it sucks that I am no longer able to pop in an orange VHS of “Clarissa Explains it All” whenever I get that whim.
The Ross Family VCR got me through endless hours of Marx Brothers and Abbott & Costello movies as a kid, worked hard during my teenage years to record “Mystery Science Theater 3000” off the sci-fi channel, and then in its later years worked hard so I could get those rare tapes and precious home movies converted.
Now getting a replacement VCR is absolutely an option. I can scrounge around thrift stores and get one that fits my needs (needs to be a four head at the least). But the old friend had just so much power stored up in it from that storm that it’ll trip every breaker it comes in contact with. It’s gone off to that big Magnavox show room in the sky. Thankfully, I got the tape to the Clue VCR game converted before it died. Can you imagine NOT being able to play that? See you next week.