Before I ever had cable, satellite, DVD’s, Netflix, Amazon, or whatever streaming option, I had the VHS. A product of the 80’s we would go to the Video Depot, a marvelous place filled with rows and rows of endless entertainment. There were even rows I wasn’t supposed to go down because those movies were off limits which was of course where I would sneak to when my Mom wasn’t watching. Life was really exciting when I would have the opportunity to purchase a VHS meaning that I could watch my favorite movies over and over and over again. There was not channel surfing or a DVR to turn to and there certainly was no streaming on demand. It was sliding out the plastic drawer specifically designed for these incredible creations to peruse the ten options. I still have the scripts all memorized to this day yet at the time I could never get enough of them.
As I aged my collection of VHS’s grew and my friends and I would spend long nights watching our favorites from the growing catalog. The movies would be rewound over and over again, I actually had a rewinder so that I didn’t wear out my VCR. The constant use combined with dust made for, at times, a fuzzy picture. For all you youngsters out there this challenge with the picture quality, which was not great to start with, was as frustrating as buffering. But instead of resetting the router, or upgrading our megabytes per second, we had tracking. The little plus and minus button, along with the occasional blowing into the tape, was our option for clearing up that picture. With these magic little buttons, the blurry screen would slowly come into focus.
With all the time, investment, and great memories I have never been able to let my collection of VHS’s go. I have a huge cardboard box in the attic that I plan to power through someday. Most of the time they just sit their lonely but occasionally I will break one out accompanied by sighs from my family and laughs from my friends. These are my classics, and I want to share them with my daughter, reliving these great memories from my youth.
With the age of these tapes the picture quality isn’t always what it once was, so I often find myself tracking. I track one way, then the other, to get the picture just right while my daughter urges me to let us watch something else. With a little finesse the picture becomes clear and we settle into all the glory that a VHS tape has to offer.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like our world could use a little tracking right now. A couple little buttons, that wouldn’t make things perfect, but would rid us of our blurry picture so that we can get on with enjoying our movie. I can’t imagine our new phone update will have that option, so we are going to have to figure out how to do it ourselves. We need to find our own strategies that may not be able to bring the whole movie into focus but could make our individual scene just a little clearer. Take a look at your world and find positive things that can get you on track, and if they work, why not share them to someone else?