The White Cottage


Remind Me, Again, How That Works!

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Woke up to another rainy, drizzly day. Starting to believe we’re living in some tropical village without the Palm trees swaying to and fro. The grass is the greenest it’s ever been, the little creek runs constantly and the birds are nowhere to be seen. Hiding in amongst what’s left of the leaves on the trees, I suppose. Having had no particular plans for the day, Nat and I ended up literally sitting in the living room watching a little TV (my Sunday Morning show and a little of the Ryder Cup), along with doing crosswords and recording a few VHS tapes Nat had asked to be done.

Saturday afternoon I pulled out the VCR/DVD Recorder Player from the dusty confines of the basement and set it back up on my bedroom dresser. It wasn’t until this afternoon that I decided to go ahead and get those tapes transferred, thinking it was going to be quiet enough to concentrate, along with filling in the hours that were now ahead of me. I managed to figure out how to hook the player up to the TV as I had (with some clever aforethought) labeled each cord accordingly – TV to DVD Output and DVD to TV input, etc. As Nat had asked for only one particular VHS tape to be transferred and as I had stored away several of his instructional tool tapes, I gathered up what I thought he wanted and, after some discussion, we both felt that I should just do them all. He had long forgotten what was actually on a couple of the tapes, as they were recorded from some television show years ago. What the hell, once into a routine, the whole transfer wouldn’t take long – just the actual length of each video – and we weren’t exactly going anywhere anyways, right!!

This is where the hard part comes in. I had long forgotten how to record or transfer each VHS tape to DVD so I ran for the instructional booklet in order to shake loose any memories that may have been lingering in the old brain. I was promptly reminded how difficult each of these manufacturers make their instructional books, but I was at least grateful that there, in fact, was a book. Nowadays it seems that everything is “online” and if you don’t have a computer to check for such instructions, then I guess you’re just screwed! I leafed through the book naturally looking for the phrases “transferring from tape to DVD”, “recording DVDs from tapes” or even “how to record”. Little did I know (or remember) that the phrasing used was “dubbing” and it was only after reading that damn booklet from cover to cover did I realize this was what I wanted.

Finally ready to go – VHS tape in the machine – DVD disc inserted into its slot – and along with following the instructions step-by-step I somehow began the recording or “dubbing” of the first tape. Once the first tape was finished (about 30 minutes) I pressed the stop button on the remote and watched as the DVD player/recorder began to “process” the whole thing. With that done I removed the DVD from the recorder and pleased as hell, I told Nat it was ready. We then began to turn on our main TV and DVD player, insert the newly recorded DVD into the tray, turn the TV to “Component 1″ and press Play. We stared at that nice 40” TV watching a black screen for quite some time before realizing nothing was actually on that new DVD. I took it back to the bedroom, turned on the little bedroom TV, inserted the DVD into its proper slot and pressed Play. What to our surprise the program began to run without any problems. What the hell did I do wrong and why wouldn’t it play on either the living room TV or even the computer!! Think, Twila, Think!!!! But nothing is coming back to me and I’m drawing a blank. I told Nat that I at least remembered you had to “finalize” any DVDs that were, in fact, recorded, but why in hell didn’t it ask to be finalized once completed. Nothing had come up onto the TV screen to tell me to do so, nothing had popped up in the step-by-step instructions and I was now baffled. Back and forth through that bloody instruction book we leafed. My frustration was now being held at bay as best I could while Nat read certain passages and asking if this is what we needed to do. I knew in my heart of hearts what he was reading wasn’t the way to go but I at least tried each step hoping it was the right one. Finally he had read the right passage, finally we were on the right track and the buttons I pressed on the remote showed the right screen. Naturally the ‘finalizing’ steps were further back in the instruction book nestled in amongst other info that you had to read and sort through before knowing what you were to actually do. Now with the right steps I re-inserted the DVD pressed the Set-Up button, scrolled down to Startup menu, scrolled down to the Disc menu, scrolled down to Finalize and pressed Enter. Well hidden, no???? Yes!!!! But bloody hell the damn thing works and my dear hubby is now able to re-watch his tool instructional videos on the computer.

The irony in all of this. Nat wanted these tapes transferred so he could re-watch them and be reminded of how to work certain tools. I’m guessing this was a memory lesson for both of us – his tools and mine!!!!


Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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