Saturday, December 27

John Lewis? nah, too plain ... let's try Jona Lewie

Last night, I watched an old movie on VHS (does anyone remember tape?) : The Graduate (1967) .. on my new Sony DVD-VHS deck. I like the way that new VHS decks do a "smart rewind" of the tape, going very fast until it nears the end, at which time it slows, so as not to rip the tape apart. The new deck will work better with my other Sony stuff, but its arrival created the need to shuffle things, so I moved the Sharp DVD-VHS to the bedroom, and now the Sony VHS-only unit (from the bedroom) will be seeking a new home.

I now have 3 electronic gadgets to dispose (others are a first-generation satellite receiver and another VCR, all of them working but just older stuff). I found the old remote controls and manuals; now I just need boxes. I should list them on eBay, which is better than paying the newspaper for a classified ad (they don't refund if it doesn't sell).

Deep Thought #20: classified advertising used to be a cash cow; I wonder how long that'll last, in this age of the Internet?

I no longer have any VHS-only units in the house, which suits me just fine. I'm also happy to see how prevalent the combo units have become; even a year ago it was rare to see them in the stores, and now they're everywhere. Heck, I even mailed a letter (remember those?) to Consumer Reports a few years ago, asking them to review these dual-purpose units, since they had not previously done so (I received a form letter thanking me for my suggestion).

I remembered that I even owned that tape of The Graduate after doing a periodic "removal of duplicates" from my movie collection. No matter how much I try, I seem to buy DVDs of movies that I already own on VHS, so I end up with duplicates. Somehow, I ended up with 13 of those, so I took them to Half-Price Books and sold them for about $1 each (I should go back to the store today, to see how much they were marked up).

Rather than take the cash, I bought 2 CDs and my first-ever book-on-tape (it's for a book that I already own, but will be referring back to, so I wanted the quick way of finding out everything that's in the book). Once I got the cassette tape home, I nearly panicked when I didn't remember if I still had anything other than a portable unit on which to play it! Fortunately (!) I'd forgotten that there's a "dubbing deck" in my stereo component rack (allows quick copies of cassettes).

Two of my favorite "Christmas songs" are upbeat-yet-dark: one is a 1980 diddy called Stop the Cavalry, by Jona Lewie; it caught my attention on a Doctor Demento collection. Not knowing anything about Jona, I Googled and found: Jona Lewie's biography. Turns out he was a member of Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs, producing a one-hit wonder called Sea Side Shuffle. My other favorite is Weird Al Yankovic's Christmas at Ground Zero. After listening to them both, I am a happy camper.

Will go to the Angelika tonight to see Bubba Ho-Tep (a story about what really happened to Elvis and JFK, when they collaborated in a west Texas nursing home (obviously a documentary!).