Video : High-Resolution Tapes

It’s three months into 1991 and you still haven’t kept one of those New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry. Home video is here to see that those promises you make to yourself year after year will be kept this year.

If you made up your mind to lose weight and stay in shape in 1991, you’re in luck. There are enough exercise and conditioning videotapes on the market to make that an easy promise to keep. The same is true if you promised to become a gourmet cook. There are so many cooking tapes, it’s easy to become a master chef of almost any country’s cuisine.

But even if your resolution is less common, somewhere there is a videocassette to help you keep your resolve.

Resolved : To learn how my automobile works so I can either fix the simple things or at least discuss the repairs intelligently with my mechanic. Solution : “Auto Repairs for Dummies” (McGraw-Hill), a how-to video created for people who haven’t the slightest idea what an automobile’s insides look like. For the more sophisticate, there’s “Tune Up America” (Morris, a small company in Torrance), easy-to-follow instructions on how to do oil changes and tune-ups; replace shocks, struts and exhaust systems and make simple body and fender repairs.

Resolved : To learn a musical instrument. Solution: “How to Play Harmonica Instantly!” (Warner) or “Beginning Piano: An Adult Approach” (GME, a small video company out of Long Beach).


Resolved : To make those nagging repairs around the house. Solution : “Home Repair: A Reader’s Digest Video Manual” (Random House) offers step-by-step instructions for such predictable repairs as leaking faucets, defective light switches, broken windows and a whole lot more. Also: “Made Easy Series of Home Repair and Maintenance” (Lorimar-Warner), five videocassettes dealing with various aspects of fixing up a home from plumbing to painting.

Resolved : To be my own boss. Solution : “How to Really Start Your Own Business” (Lorimar-Warner) is a well-done video primer showing you how to build a business and keep it going. It’s sponsored by Inc. Magazine. “Winning Entrepreneurial Style” (Lorimar-Warner) offers advice from financial reporter Tom Miller on financing your venture, forming a sound management team, marketing and protecting your interests.

Resolved : To not let yourself be pushed around anymore. Solution : “You Can Win--Negotiating for Power, Love and Money” (MCA) offers therapist Tessa Warschaw’s advice for successful negotiating in and out of the office.

Resolved : To be more optimistic and positive. Solution : “The Power of Positive Thinking” (Lorimar-Warner), Norman Vincent Peale’s best-selling book celebrated its 35th anniversary with this motivational videotape.

Resolved : To be courageous enough to speak in public. Solution : “How to Make a Speech” (McGraw-Hill) is a funny, instructional video hosted by TV personality-comic-writer-speaker Steve Allen. It’s simple enough to help the novice and complete enough to help the experienced speaker.

Resolved : To hit the jackpot in Las Vegas. Solution : “Winning at Blackjack with Bobby Singer” (JCI, a small video company in Woodland Hills) has a mathematical formula to help you win it all. There’s also the amusing “Casino Gambling"(Lorimar-Warner), which covers such games of chance as roulette, craps, baccarat and blackjack, nicely served up by comic David Brenner, as well as the equally amusing “Odds Are: The Smothers Brothers Show You How to Gamble and Win” (MGM/UA), which emphasizes how you limit your losses and put the house edge to work for you.

Resolved: To be able to mix great drinks at my next party. Solution: “Mister Boston Official Bartender’s Guide” (Lorimar-Warner) is based on the best-selling book and offers easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for making popular cocktails and punches. If you’re more ambitious, try “Video Guide to Homebrewing” (Producer’s Studio Home Video in Eugene, Ore.), a complete introduction to making beer at home (with homebrewer Wen Evans and beer expert Charlie Papazian.)

For those of you who didn’t know what to resolve to do in 1991, why not try “Taxidermy by Video,” (VCA Teletronics of New York), 10 videocassettes hosted by self-taught, veteran taxidermist Connie Mack Moran that teaches you more than you ever wanted to know about taxidermy.

There may be one problem. Some of these tapes are hard to find. Work with your local video dealer in locating the companies that manufacture them. Many may only be available at second-hand tape stores or tape suppliers listed in various video magazines.