Weekend Wrap-Up

How badly does Arcturo need to watch these shows? 

Let me put it this way – I had to buy him a VCR so I could record a block of Teletubbies, Barney, and Big Comfy Couch for him to watch on weekends, since these shows aren’t broadcast on Saturday and Sunday.

To me, it’s the same damn thing every weekend. For him it’s like going to Disneyland. The novelty never wears off.

In this “Weekend Wrap-Up”, I’ll describe the episodes we’ve recorded for him.

We’ve had 2 different sets of episodes. First, I’ll cover the highlights of current set we’re watching.

This most recent recording is already in bad shape. About 3 minutes of the beginning of it, the tape has been stretched and is now a cylindrical thread instead of a flat tape. This cheapo Wal-Mart VCR is to blame (it’s a Hughes brand VCR – Nope, I’ve never heard of them either).

When it rewinds, it either shuts down completely, or ends up with the leading thread-shaped tape tangled up in it’s works. Sometimes, it is nice and rewinds to where the tape is thin and stops – that’s the desired result, since the next time I hit play, we don’t have to fast-forward through the thin part of the tape, or fight to free the cassette and manually wind it by hand. When it works, it works. When it doesn’t work, I do things like punch it in it’s face and make disparaging remarks using the most foul language I can muster at the time, until it gives in and starts working properly.

One day I was trying to adjust the tracking for a better picture. I remember back when VCRs were the standard in every household, they had a function that would allow you to adjust the tracking of the playback heads for a better picture. Apparently with this newer tech VCR, a better picture is not a desirable function. I ended up accidently changing the language to Spanish and now, since every damn thing in the menus is in Espaniol, I can’t figure out how to change it back.

So, instead of REWINDING a tape, I now have to REBOBINAR it.

Another weird thing is – this tape that I recorded these shows on was blank when I bought it (at Publix for something like $5.99 for 3), but at one point in the recording, it looks like as if someone had paused the recording for a second and you get a quick glimpse of what was recorded over. During a “Tara Time” intermission in the tape, Tara disappears and we see for a brief second, some guy’s silhouette on a stage proclaiming “LIGHTS!” and just as suddenly as she disappeared, Tara’s back singing – you’d miss it if you blink. I have no idea how this appears on what I had assumed was a blank tape during a continuous recording.

This Hughes VCR is manufactured to destroy tapes. I have plenty of old VCR tapes, but I won’t feed them to this machine, I want them to last maybe a few years until I get digital copies.

My recommendation is – if you’re ever compelled to buy a Hughes VCR at a Wal-Mart for nineteen bucks, pick up a $2 dollar hammer to go with it. And maybe some lighter fluid. Or explosives, if available.

Another crappy deal I got was the TV set. A friend that works at DeSears. It’s like buying a computer from DeDells. I was surprised to see this friend working there, looking all business suit and all, since he used to have a Deadhead/Headshop type of business and had a public “hippy” image. But he’s a friend so I’ll heed his advice on the TVs he sells now.

Well, he didn’t seem interested in helping as much as he was in seeing if I was actually going to purchase one or not. He stuck me with this set that I later found out has a few hidden features…

One day I went to hook up my iPod to the set. It has inputs for it, but for some reason it didn’t work. I tried hooking up several DVD players to it with no success. Turns out that even though it has the inputs on the back of the set, they are simply not hooked up. Just put there for show apparently. I will rate DeSears one turd down and give it a never-visit-again status for those of you keeping score.

Enough about me and my idiot purchasing decisions. You came here to read about a bird’s perception of things so here’s a quick synopsis of our recorded weekend shows…

Teletubbies. Both of us agree this isn’t the best Teletubbies episode, but Arcturo enjoys it anyway. The “video” part of this episode has kids riding a San Francisco Trolley. They buy 3 tickets. This is where Arcturo gets to count to 3 – he likes that. He also learns the importance of saying “Thank You” from this one.

Barney – I freakin’ HATE this episode. When this tape finally dies I’m going to take it outside, beat it to death with a hammer, stab it, set it on fire, and leave it there for the dogs to piss on. Watching this episode is equal to inviting an evil midget crossbreed spawn of Jerry Falwell and Paris Hilton into your living room. Too much clueless self-righteousness for one small TV to contain.

They do a skit on the fairy-tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Innocent enough, but you can sense some undefined evil behind the scenes controlling the children. Kids just don’t act like this without having been tortured for months by people with severely twisted agendas.

There’s something about the way the Little Jack kid says “Yes, Mooother” to the little girl playing his mom. We’re no psychoanalysts, but it sounds to Arcturo and I like the kid is actually saying “I’m responding to this person by calling her ‘mother’ but I want everybody in the world to know without a doubt that she is not my mother and it would be totally absurd if they go through life thinking that she is.”

I want to see the results of these child experiment victims in ten years. There’s some serious “moral cleansing” and psychological modifications going on here. Even Arcturo senses it. When he sees subtle clues like this he looks over at me with visible concern. I worry about them too, but he doesn’t realize that they won’t be children forever. Some day they will grow up to be normal severely deranged adults and take on teaching positions in public schools.

I’ll save the reviews of the Teletubbies and Big Comfy Couch recordings for next weekend. Gotta have something to write about!

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