mbranesf (mbranesf) wrote,
mbranesf
mbranesf

Dream Journal: VHS

This morning's pre-waking dream combined two recurring elements from my dream world: a tedious task that resists completion and from which I keep getting sidetracked, and "lost" episodes of original-series Star Trek.

In this dream, I was attempting to record a VHS duplicate copy of a set of never-before-seen Trek episodes. As I recall, the complete plan was to record the VHS dupe from a DVD, and then later take the tape home and somehow transfer it again, this time to a DVD. Why I wasn't just copying the DVD in the first place, or just stealing the original, I have no idea. This kind of stuff doesn't make sense after I wake up. But it did in the dream. I was using a VHS recorder that evidently belonged to Jeff's mother (we were at her house, combined with elements of a school). It was very large, like one of those really old ones from the late 1970s that was about as big and heavy as a small car. At one point I noticed that I was working with it outside and it had melting snow on top of it, with ice dripping on it from above. Realizing that this might ruin the machine and end my plans for it, I brushed away the snow and then tipped the whole machine upside down and poured a lot of water out of it.

Later, I was indoors with it trying to link it to the machine that I was copying from and also trying to get the picture to display on a TV. Then there were about a dozen TVs and other devices arrayed around me, and I was plugging a coaxial cable into one and then the next for a long time trying to get things set up the right way. Then when I was finally ready to record my copy, I discovered that I didn't have a blank tape. Jeff's mom had a bunch of tapes sitting around, but they were all obviously used. None were labeled but I could see that they had all been stopped in the middle of the tape after playing or recording something. I really wanted a fresh new tape for this project. Then I saw she had some tapes still in their original cello packaging. But then my hopes were dashed again when I realized that they weren't VHS tapes but rather audio cassettes. I asked J's mom if I could record over one of her used tapes. She was OK with it but she wanted to play each one of them to make sure that there was nothing important on them, which for some reason involved re-wiring my whole co-ax cable set-up. And it continued in this exasperating mode for a while, and the dream ended with the "lost" episodes of Trek tantalizingly close but still outside my grasp.

The seed for this dream might have been planted the other day when we started packing for our move and I decided to once and for all get rid of the last of VHS tapes, the audio cassettes and the machines that play them. I haven't had these devices in service for about a decade and I let go of the vast majority of the tapes a couple of moves ago, but I was still hanging on to the machines and a few of the most treasured tapes just in case I someday felt like I "needed" them. This is too much like hoarding behavior, and I made the decision that I wasn't going to haul around this junk anymore. Also, it fits with my current attitude about obsolete storage media. Budgetary restrictions of recent years have made it impossible for me to continue my habit of days bygone of buying CDs and DVDs. I have not acquired a brand new one, using my own money, of either in about five years. I have gotten a handful of DVDs as gifts, and I have a pretty cool little collection of movies from back when I was a buyer of discs. After I start my new day job, my income will increase a bit, and it would be perhaps affordable again to buy discs once in a while. But I won't be doing it. All those DVDs and CDs (and yes, soon the brand new BlueRay discs, too) are almost as obsolete already as those VHS tapes that I canned a couple days ago. I was browsing Netflix the other day and discovered a bunch of movies that I own DVD copies of that I can stream online at essentially zero cost since unlimited use of the streaming service is included in the minimal amount we pay Netflix for our one-disc-at-a-time version of their mail delivery service. Why would I even bother to get the disc out ever again?  If it were to ever happen in real life that those dream episodes of lost Star Trek finally appear, I hope that instead of screwing around with machines and physical media to get at them, I can just stream them online.

Tags: dream journal, star trek
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