Rural Life in the UP of Michigan Some stories about life on 160 rural acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

January 22, 2011

Lightening Our Load

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin0 @ 11:09 pm

After our television died this summer, we’ve rethought the entertainment center that sits in the middle of our livingroom. Actually, it is a wooden box with shelves that I put together from wood scraps some year ago, until I got around to making a nicer one. Somehow that project got back burnered. Now the TV that used to sit on top of the center is gone, and the electronic components that are still housed inside are largely underutilized, we’re thinking the whole center can go.

We used to watch lots of VHS tapes through that system, and realized that there were still some tapes we’d like to be able to watch. I looked around online and found there are hardware/software solutions that will accept output from a VCR, and input it to a computer that can record whatever it sees. I wound up buying a Diamond One Touch, and went to work recording the tapes we wanted to keep. This has turned into a lengthy project, as there are quite a few tapes.

Once the data are taken off the tapes, I use the Windows DVD Maker software to burn a DVD, and then I file it away in my Dacal CD Changers. You can fit a whole lot of DVDs in the same space that just a few VHS tapes takes. The Dacal allows me to store information about the DVDs in a database allowing me to search for what I want when I want it.

Today I got several more tapes copied, and threw out a bunch of stuff that we decided we’d no longer use. I’ve been carting VHS tapes off to Goodwill for the past few weeks, and will continue doing that. I also put some tapes up on eBay today. I can tell you it feels good to be lightening our load. When you stay in the same place for decades, things do pile up. Whether you use them or not, your eye seems used to them occupying their space. It is a good thing to take a critical look at your stuff once in a while, and to get rid of what isn’t being used anymore.

Once everything is gone through, we’ll be able to take the entertainment center apart and reclaim some space in our livingroom. I’m looking forward to that day.

sundog.jpgWe’ve had cold weather the past week or so. It was a very nice sunrise this morning, complete with what we call a sundog. Rarely it goes all the way around the sun. Today’s was more typical in that it had arcs on both sides of the sun. I got a picture of one of the two arcs this morning. I’m told they are formed when there are fine ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. There is a lunar counterpart called a moondog too. These are harder to get pictures of.

1 Comment »

  1. Hey Ted. Mostly just a note to say how much we’re enjoying reading this.

    Comment by Ryan — January 27, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

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