Mobile Video Systems I Have Known

Our webmaster has requested certain articles so this article is his fault. His request was as follows: Mobile-Audio-Video – Articles on automotive video and sound systems belong here, including suggestions and tips as well as system reviews.

In 1977 rather than repair the air conditioning system in my VW bus, I purchased a late 1996 GM conversion van. It had sat on the dealer’s lot for several months and he wanted to unload it. A beautiful critter that would not fit in my garage it had in additional to the mood lighting a VCR player and a television set.

The first thing we noticed when we brought the van home was that our dog, Zipper, just loved it. He jumped right in and would not get out. He knew that something was up with the moving company hauling our furniture out the front door. He was not going to be left behind.

Zipper was a member of No Dog Left Behind. That’s probably where the young Mrs. Bush got her idea for No Child Left Behind, a program that educator’s and parents seem to hate. Personally, I have not objection to leaving certain kids behind.

Zipper was one of the reasons we had to have a van. He was a big Labrador retriever. The other reason was that my wife enjoys plants. She started the program No Plant Left Behind.

We filled the van with Zipper and the plants and off we went for Arizona, the “Land of the Sun” and “Allergy Hell.” (We didn’t know about the Juniper problem then.)

Our son, Jimmy, immediately slapped a tape in the VCR player and sat in the back watching Tobruk. To read some of the details of this movie go to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062377/. Arthur Heller directed the movie and it starred Rock Hudson. Here is the plot: “September 1942 – With Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps on the march through Egypt, a British special forces unit, composed of German Jews who serve with the British despite the mutual resentment between both, kidnap a Canadian officer who is an expert topographer and who is held prisoner by the Vichy French in Algeria. The officer, Donald Craig, must negotiate a company of British and German-Jewish commandos through 800 miles of the Sahara to aide a pending amphibious landing against Tobruk’s massive fuel storage base – a mission that sees one impediment after another, and which discovers an undetected German armored force ready to win the battle of Egypt.”

Sounds exciting, right? Well, Doris Day was missing.

Listening to he sound track I realized that Jimmy had been driving for about five years and had a valid New Jersey driving license. After some persuasion Jimmy was driving and I was back watching Tobruk.

When we got to Arizona, I bought Jimmy a Nissan pickup and my wife a Toyota Corolla. He took off for Utah to go to college. For that reason, since then, I’ve never sat in the back of my van and watched a movie.

Jimmie came back once and traded his pickup for my wife’s Corolla. We still have the pickup and Jimmie still has the Corolla. He didn’t stay long enough so that we could take a trip and I could watch a movie in the back of my van.

I’m not saying that my van’s video system is not used. When we go fishing, my grandkids pile in the back, pull down the sun shades, and turn on the VCR player and the television. I have heard the soundtrack of a dozen movies that I have not seen. My usual comment is, “TURN THAT DOWN!”

When the kids get out of the car, they leave everything on and the sun shades down. I tell them, “IF YOU DON’T LEARN TO LEAVE THE VAN THE WAY YOU FOUND IT, YOU WILL NEVER GO FISHING AGAIN!”

I mean it. I’m tired of them catching all the fish while I operate my “pole and reel repair shop” and bait the hooks for the girls.

So my suggestion for selection of a video system is this: Don’t buy one if you have grandkids. It’s cheaper to give them a coloring book and a box of crayons.

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