Jan 10, 2011

Machine Guts

Monster's Inc. VHS has been stuck in the VCR for well over a year.  It's not that we haven't needed it, it's the fact that we still have a rich collection of VHS movies that I paid good money for 15 years ago.  Mostly Disney but there is also the stray "Wayne's World" (definitely pre-kids).  In order to extract the highly regarded Monster's Inc., it was necessary to take the VCR apart only to find out the problem was electrical and the VCR was not salvageable.

Christmas has never been this good.

Th kids pulled apart every little piece and examined it extensively, discussing in great detail what they would do with the pieces.  The five year old made plans to make a robot, the ten year old wondered how to make things explode.  The 13 year old attached buttons to her face and giggled every time she pushed it and it clicked.  The 15 year old laid on a chair and read a book.

For three days Scott and I dreamed of our children growing up and becoming engineers, inventors, Nobel Peace Prize recipients, (ignoring the End of the World Bomb).  We patted ourselves on the back for 1) having such brilliant children and 2) having a brilliant idea of giving the old VCR to the children (although it was really the dad and not the mom).

Our bubble popped when the children lost interest one day.  In an effort to stir up their creative juices once again, I held up pieces and made intelligent comments like, "Hey!  Here's a little doo-hicky you could turn into a thingamabob!"  Alas, the magic was lost. In frustration, I asked them what they learned from the experience.

"Nothing.  It was just cool to see the VCR guts."


June Freaking Cleaver said...

As a kid, I always wanted one of those electronics kits, intent on making my own doorbell or some other useless gadget.

Now, I have no interest in even seeing the "guts" of any device - I guess I missed my window of opportunity.

And the way all the circuits are integrated today, and welded/soldered down, it probably wouldn't be much fun to mess with that stuff anyway.

Amy said...

Funny story: One of the activities that Tom and I did in our newlywed year for fun, was dismantle electronic equipment like VCRs. I have no idea why! Tom collected all the transistors and diodes (I hate that I know the names) and separated them into little bags. Screws of all sizes--all separated into bags. Then, we left Mexico suddenly with no money and very few possessions. The one thing we did have--an entire suitcase of those little bags. It was years before Tom finally threw them out or sold them for a quarter or something.

Joan said...

Now I could have told them that they were looking at chips, transistors, capacitors, relays,
reed switches and crystals. I know how to solder them but after 26 years I still don't know exactly what they do.