Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Cabinet of Past Passions

I've updated my web site ever so slightly to include info on the new book, coming on Tuesday. Eventually I may need to do a total redesign to incorporate the steampunk stuff, but that will come after I get the house stuff straightened out (I hope).

Meanwhile, I'm about to head to the recycling center to unload a whole trunk load of old videotapes -- according to the city web site, they take them. In the Dark Ages before OnDemand, I used to record my favorite shows as I watched them. It started when I lived under the flight path for the airport, and it always seemed like a plane would take off right over my head at a critical moment, so I'd miss something. So I just started recording everything as I watched it, and then I could rewatch to catch things I missed. I found that I enjoyed rewatching anyway, and would often watch that week's episode (or at least my favorite parts) during the week, then rewatch it again leading up to the new episode. I'd also have plenty of stuff on hand to watch during summer hiatus. My recordings of the first season of The X-Files got me through the summer I was in physical therapy after knee surgery. I could put on an episode and get through my at-home exercises.

Now, OnDemand means I can rewatch that week's episode without recording it, so I seldom tape anything. I can get DVD sets of an entire season that fit into the space of one videotape. The move to HD has made the tapes even less relevant. So I've been purging my videotape collection. I have entire series on tape, some of which I now have on DVD. I also had a lot of movies I seem to have recorded off HBO when I first got HBO and was excited about all those movies -- OnDemand has ended that, as well, since I don't have to watch anything on HBO's schedule anymore. I kept a couple of series that aren't available on DVD and tapes of my own appearances on the news. Otherwise, a collection that once filled a cabinet and most of a bookcase now fits on a shelf and a half of the cabinet. This has freed up valuable bookcase space and given me good places to put away other things.

This process was interesting in tracking my past passions. There are things I used to be obsessed with that I now can hardly bring myself to watch. I've caught showings of some of these series on various cable channels and cringed. But at the time, I was obsessed and would rewatch constantly. I'm sure at some point I'll look at my DVD collection the same way. The DVDs just take up a lot less space.

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