4/18 : I’m still alive!?

It’s me, Xander The Video Clerk!

How are all of you? Remember me, I totally didn’t forget to update here occasionally. 


Anyway let me tell you all about what’s new at Reclaim Video! First you can now watch the Reclaim Video store 24/7! just go to reclaimvideo.com/live !

We are totally living up to the name Video Store Of The Future; how you might ask? well we now have a robot working at Reclaim Video!

Check out those nice wheels. and that amazing screen!

We have been acquiring a lot of arcade cabinets lately, there is now a Pac-Man in Reclaim, and countless different games in Reclaim Hosting. I feel that make everyone happy, and really brighten the room.

Our customer base just keeps increasing! There are just so many wonderful people who love the video stores of old. In fact about one or two weeks ago I had a nice man and his wife come in, he told me all about his collection of foreign films which all are raw. He said it brought tears to his eyes to know that there were still video stores out there carrying on the time old tradition.

Last time I wrote I had mentioned a new worker, he is still doing well and he seems to be pretty good. I will of course not comment on ways I would do things differently. He definitely knows his stuff where it matters, and I happily see him as a true VHS era fan. On Reclaim Today Jim and Tim said our names twice! (I counted) so I guess it’s fine for me to say his name now, so ah another formal welcome to Matt… or well really happy 5 months dude.

It’s been a wonderful day at Reclaim Video! I hope you all have a lovely day, and do please come by Reclaim Video if you ever have the chance!

Also don’t forget we have a merch store : (shop.reclaimhosting.com)

-Xander The Video Clerk


Hi guys, Xander the Clerk here! Today at reclaim we got a lot of new vhs thanks to Meredith! Way to go! It was a great day and I got to meet the new Clerk (more on that later). In this new stock we got a lot of great VHS, including Navy Seals!!!!! We got it! Navy seals is here!

If you don’t understand why Navy Seals is such a big deal then you must not have been a huge movie person when this came out. It is famed as one of the worst movies in it time. Also it was in Clerks where this famed line came from :

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Anyway I want to let you all know we official have over 1000+ VHS tapes in the store!!! Can’t wait for 10,000 Vhs in the future!

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I got to meet the new Clerk at Reclaim Video today! He works the monday and wednesday shift if you want to come in and meet him. I’m not going to say his name for now, privacy of course. He seems chill, seems to know some good movies. Didn’t test him or anything, no salt at a new worker. Basically I hope you all welcome him when you come in and see him!Image result for 2 clerks gif

Today I really didn’t have time to watch anything. Trying to focus on putting all the VHS in our system , and of course figure out where we are going to put them. Had Awsten Powers , and Phantom of the Opera on.  Both fun movies, lots of good quotes. here’s a fun gif:

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Well I have to go now! I love all of you who continue to support Reclaim Video! We can’t wait to see you all when you come in. Please if your in the area, give us a visit. You will not regret it!

– Xander The Clerk


Hi all! Xander back again with the info about what’s going on at Reclaim  Video today! It was a slow day… so sad, but there’s always slow days in life.

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Today I watched a movie called American Werewolf in London, a movie about werewolves…. in London. It’s actually a really good movie! It’s about these two Americans who are attacked by a Werewolf, one of them dies the other one becomes a werewolf! The now werewolf boy sees the spirit of his dead friend who tells him to kill himself so that he doesn’t hurt anyone. The spirits of the werewolf line’s victims come back as spirits, and will haunt this earth till the werewolf line is killed. Of  course Werewolf boy doesn’t listen because he just got himself a lady friend, then kills some people. So those people also come back as spirits, and they all chat about how he can kill himself. I won’t say how it ends, because everyone should give it a try.Image result for american werewolf in london gif

Watched a Huck Finn Disney movie, but that’s not very interesting. Who doesn’t know huck finn? Would I recommend it? Not really.

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Thanks for reading this post! Sorry for it being short again… I hope the few who read this enjoy it. Don’t want this post to be too boring so here is something funny.  Our store contains a “Close Encounter” poster, yet we do not own the movie in any format currently. I think it’s funny. Image result for donnie darko gif

Well I must go. Hope you all have a lovely day! -Xander the video clerk.



Hi all! Xander the Video Clerk here again to talk about what’s going on at reclaim video!

A casual day at Reclaim Video today, people came in, people returned videos. I personally had to take all the VideoDiscs and put them back into our system under the correct format, but of course I love the work! Speaking of VideoDisc we sadly found out our VideoDisc Player is broken so it needs to be fixed. It will be fixed some time, so stay tuned for that exciting development!

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Today we had a really cool customer come in! A father and daughter came in. They seemed very passionate, and said that they had been wanting to come by. They were really cool, and said they would come again next time with the guys wife. They said his wife was very passionate about VHS so i think she will like our store quite a bit. Also a guy said that I was right about The Professional being good. Yeah It was a good day.

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Today I watched a movie called Innerspace, you ever heard of it? I have never heard of it before today! It’s a Steven Spielberg movie! And it’s not pre-Star Wars, it came out after Star Wars! Directed by Joe Dante, who also did GremlinIt’s a sci fi movie about a scientifically miniaturized marine unexpectedly finds himself floating around the body of a grocery store clerk.  They go on a adventure, they bond, and try to outwit saboteurs who want the device that shrank him. Not going to spoil too much. It was a good movie, not an amazing movie, just a good movie.

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Sorry not a lot happened today! I was just a good casual day, and a amazing one at that! I feel that every day at Reclaim Video is an amazing one, and I really hope all of you can make some time to come see this amazing place! I don’t do the store justice in my writing, it really is something beautiful.  Hope you all have an amazing day!

-Xander the Video Clerk

We got a VideoDisc Player!!

Hello all, Xander here! We had a pretty nice day here at Reclaim Video! We had a few customers like normal, some returns, some rentals, basically your typical day at Reclaim Video.Image result for vhs gif

Today we finally got a VideoDisc player! We have had VideoDiscs here for a while, but now we finally have our own player to watch them on! It is so cool! Well one problem….We haven’t gotten it to fully work. You see what makes VideoDisc so cool is that its a disc in a case that the player removes so that no fingerprints ever get on the disc. That part is running smoothly now, but we can’t get it to start playing and spin the disc. I would also keep in mind that I am just the clerk and VideoDisc isn’t my best field. We will keep you updated on the progress on it!Image result for videodisc gif

Today I watched The Professional, a movie i believe i mentioned on yesterday’s post where I said I was excited to finally have it in the store. It was as good as I remembered. A great tale of a “Cleaner” aka Hitman who saves a young girl whose family all were just murdered. The movie is about her wanting him to train her so she can get revenge for her younger brother. Good movie, very much recommend. Fun note : As I’m writing this a guy comes in and rented our copy of The Professional , so clearly It is really good.

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Well This post was a bit shorter than my usual but I didn’t have as much time to focus on writing because of the VideoDisc work. Hope you all have a fantastic day, and if you are in the area come by and see us on Tuesday!

-Xander The Video Clerk


Hi all, it’s Xander!

I’ve been gone from the store for quite a bit now! But I am finally back! I don’t want to talk about what i’ve been up to mostly because you are here for Reclaim Video content. But if you want to really know, I went on a 2 week beach vacation and then started my Senior year of High School.

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Back to Reclaim Video content! Yay!

So I came back to tons of stuff to catalog and put out on the shelfs, totally love it! I got to catalog some Laserdisc and some VHS, and we final have some movies i’ve been wanting to have in the store! We got a VHS of Waterworld, and The Professional! I love The Professional, I believe it is a must see for any movie fan. It is very adorable and funny, I personally have to watch it in the store.

You see that? That is a E.T VHS with the Green Spindles! It looks so cool, so amazing. Is that special or rare? No…. But it looks so cool!!!! I just love VHS tapes that have a different color than the standard Black. Like a white body VHS tapes are so cool! I have a few tapes that i’m personally trying to find which have a white body, I hope I can find them some day.

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Today I watched a real classic, The Sixth Sense! Really good movie with that iconic quote “I see dead people”. Man what a cool movie! You watch it once, but then at the end when you see the twist you freakout! Next thing you know you are watching it again now that you understand it fully. Really good movie with a good cast!

We had a few customers in today, one rental though. I missed getting to be in Reclaim Video and interacting with all the awesome customers. Finally I’m back and got to interact with some alright customers. Had a rental, and had someone come in looking for dvds.

In all pretty good day at my first day working at Reclaim Video as an afterschool job! Always so much fun working, and enjoying some good movies! Please come in and check us out if you haven’t!

Godzilla V.S 9 to 5

Today at Reclaim Video we had another wonderful day being a leader in VHS , Betamax, and Laserdisc rental services. we had a decent amount of customers come in. We had a customer come in asking if we convert 8mm film to DVD, I had to tell him we do not currently do that. This would not be the first time a customer came in asking if we do converting. We had another customer come in asking if we bought DVDs and VHSs, I apologized to  her and told her we don’t. She sat down and we discussed where else she could try to sell her Opera DVDs, I suggested Ebay or Craigslist. Finally a good friend of mine came in to renew her tapes, this is week 3 of her renewing them. In all a good day at Reclaim Video.

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Fun Fact: Blockbuster and Reclaim Video have the same number of stores.

Today at Reclaim Video I watched Godzilla v.s The Sea Monster and 9 to 5. Both are interesting movies which I had never seen before today. I recommend both for a nice movie to sit down and watch for fun.

Godzilla v.s The Sea Monster was of course a Godzilla movie. That means it had some amazing fights between some zillas. It’s original name was Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, but in America it is known as Godzilla v.s The Sea Monster. I was pleasantly surprised  there were way more zillas then i thought would be in this movie. Godzilla, Mothra, Ebirah (The Sea Monster), and A Giant Condor (Yes that is his name) all make a appearance in this movie. I’d like to talk about how strange Giant Condor is, he shows up only in this movie as Giant Condor, and another movie as Giant Eagle. He has no name, nor does he have an actually origin. He just shows up in these two movies randomly, not affecting the plot at all. He shows up and attacks Godzilla, then he leaves. Very fun Godzilla movie, as always you really don’t need to know much about the Godzilla franchise to enjoy this film.Image result for godzilla giant condor gif

9 to 5 is an interesting movie which was recommended to me. It’s about 3 officeworks who are tired of their sexiast tyrant of a boss, so they abducting him and running the business themselves.  They do drugs and fantasize about what ways they could kill their boss. It’s a pretty funny movie, and I see why it is rated so well in the comedy department.

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Today was a pretty great day at Reclaim Video. Good movies, and a good amount of customers/visitors. I highly recommend coming in to the Reclaim Video space if you are in the area. It is 100% worth a visit.

This is actually my last day working of the summer, so I hope to see you all when I return working at Reclaim Video as my afterschool job. So see you all in September!

-Xander The Video Clerk

8/16/18 Reclaim Video

Today at Reclaim Video I finally got around to rewinding all of the VHS tapes. For a while i’ve been meaning to do it, but never thought it was necessary. Today I finally got tired of wanting to watch things just to have to wait for it to rewind first. It took about 2 hours to do, and i did skip over some that were basically rewound of the way, it was fun and easy being that we have two VHS rewinders.

Today I watched two movies: Clerks, and Shogun Assassin. Both are amazing movies in their own right.

Clerks is a classic and I believe everyone should see it at some point in their life. It was shot in black and white and had few cast members all to save money. Even  on a tight budget it still was an amazing piece of video. Clerks was shot for $27,575 in the convenience and video stores where director Smith worked in real life! It made over $3,000,000 in theaters! It would later get a sequel and a animated series.

Shogun Assassin was also really good. Good effects and good fight scenes. I was a bit distracted when watching so I may have missed some stuff. Never seen it before today, totally worth a watch! It was very interesting, and had an amazing story.

Customers were normal, nothing to crazy today.  Thanks for reading, if you want to learn more about Reclaim Video come visit us!

2320 Plank Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

-Xander The Video Clerk


Willow (1988)

Willow (1988)

One of the great joys of building Reclaim Video beyond the chance to get back to doing some art has been the chance to reflect on some of the films that defined my childhood. I was born in 1982 and grew up surrounded by VHS as the dominant format. Visiting a rental store to pick out a movie for the weekend was a ritual that my siblings and I cherished. It's interesting to me how even in the Netflix-era of on-demand there are so many films that can't be easily found and don't surface in any algorithms. So for me this is an opportunity to indulge a bit by pulling out some of the films that I can vividly remember watching multiple times and grabbing them on eBay for the store.

A few weeks ago I made it a point to get a copy of Willow. A Lucasfilm production directed by Ron Howard and staring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer, Willow is a fantasy film with dwarves, sorcerers, dragons, and more. The effects are as excellent as you would expect with George Lucas at the helm. Check out this scene as Queen Bavmorda turns the army ready to storm the fortress into pigs.

Apparently there's even a video game for Commodore 64 https://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/willow. The film wasn't a huge box office success but did decent enough. In an era where I was entraced by the works of Jim Henson and George Lucas this movie was right up my alley. It's no Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter when it comes to fantasy films, but was a staple in the Owens household early on and it was a thrill to get a copy for Reclaim Video and watch it again.

Reclaim Video’s World Premiere at #OER18

Reclaim Video Signage

The road to Reclaim Video has been both an interesting and telling one. Less than a year ago it was still just an idea baby lurking menacingly under the surface of Crystal Lake. The “vision” was hatched while we were renovating our newly leased office space last Spring. The space is part of an 80s strip mall that effectively has two storefronts. The one we were renovating became CoWork, and the other was being used temporarily—but every time I looked at it I couldn’t help fantasizing about an 1980s video rental store. The fantasies were also inspired by the awesome experience of working on the Console Living Room exhibit we created at UMW in the Spring of 2015

Reclaim Team in NYC Diner dreaming of VHS

I think I first articulated the dark fantasies of Reclaim Video to Tim and Lauren in some kind of thinly veiled joke as early as May, but the intense preparation surrounding the conjunction of both the opening of CoWork and the launch of our first Domains conference meant it was summarily dismissed. What’s more, it was little more then “I want to turn that space into an 80s video rental store. hahahaha.” As brilliant as the idea seems now to just about everyone, hindsight is 20/20 🙂 It was not as fleshed out as one would hope, and while I kept on returning to it over and over again throughout the summer and fall, it did not become a reality until early November (so only 6 months ago). The idea came up again while we were enjoying a Reclaim NYC trip. Tim, who was trying really hard to make heads or tails of the idea, finally made the connection between Reclaim Hosting and Reclaim Video in his mind, namely evolving the record store idea [“Video killed the radio star”] as well as being a way to host a fun marketing campaign for Reclaim Hosting. And, with that, everything moved into overdrive.  We all agreed to the idea in NYC over a delicious diner breakfast (pictured above) in early November and by March we had gutted the storefront and created a full-blown video store circa 1984—it took all of 4 months once we committed. And that last point encapsulates my experience at Reclaim Hosting for almost 5 years now. There’s really little in the way of bullshit; we are a lean, mean academic hosting machine and once we decide to do something we lock-in and get it done. #TCB4life!

We’ve documented the process of getting the store up and running over the past few months, and we now have all those blog posts aggregating to Reclaim Video’s blog Room 237. Given that, I’ll spare you re-hashing that process here so I can actually get to my point.

And what’s that, you ask? Well, our coming out party at OER18, of course! I’m not sure when, but at some point in December or January we got the notion of transforming Reclaim Hosting’s sponsorship of OER18 into Reclaim Video’s. The conceit being that this new Ed-Tech start-up, Reclaim Video, was delivering an innovative and timely disruption to the Higher Education market: VHS!!! We approached ALT’s CEO Maren Deepwell with the idea, and she was fully onboard. Those of you who know Maren will not be surprised by this, and I fell in love with the folks at ALT when I spoke at OER16 because I deeply related with how such a small, focused crew could bring so much goodness to so many. After that we decided to do our part to help fund OER17 and now OER18, but we had no interest in the usual vendor trappings—the sordid depths of which Adam Croom’s recent post about OLCInnovate highlights quite brilliantly alarmingly. So, Reclaim Video provided us a way to still do something fun and actually be part of the conversation, even if from 30 years ago 🙂

OER18 Conference

“The lights go down in Bristol for Reclaim Video”
Image credit: Daniel Villar-Rubio’s “OER18 Conference”

OER18 took place at The Watershed, an Independent Cinema  and “Creativity Centre” in Bristol, and all the presentations were in movie theaters. As luck would have it, this was perfect for what we wanted to do. We had made a mad rush to finish the Reclaim Video storefront in March so we could create a short film that we would debut at OER18. And, we did! I’m not sure what it is titled, but it provides a kind of alternative reality wherein the employees of both Reclaim Video and Reclaim Hosting find themselves in a 1980s era storefront talking VCRs and websites. Synergy baby!

And that was how OER18 started, Maren put the tape in the VCR, lights went down, and 5 minutes of magic ensued 🙂 It was fun, and the fact there really is a Reclaim Video in Fredericskburg, Virginia that will be sending folks all over the world copies of this video on VHS tape over the next 3-6 months makes me smile. Faith in a seed.

We also had a booth, and the amazing crew at Watershed supplied us with a CRT monitor and a region-free VHS player—I think they were the most excited about Reclaim Video’s presence at the conference. The booth was awesome, and it just played films like Blade Runner, Xtro, Amadeus, and more. We also had a stack of shirts and stickers for those swag-minded retrotechs.

Another piece of the OER18 sponsorship was an ad in the program, and, well, we remixed some OG “OER.” 

Tim’s design prowess was responsible for the logo, and it’s amazing how much goodness can follow on a solid logo. What’s more, I already mentioned that a major reason for doing Reclaim Video was to have some fun. And, if you think about it, Reclaim Video is kind of a mashup of ds106 and the Living Room Console—which are two of my very favorite things. And while we fully understand Reclaim Video is not a viable business, its value as an indulgent, nostalgia-peppered space filled with fun and whimsy should not be underestimated. The space has already helped us all divert some of the intense work that running Reclaim Hosting requires into a joyous alter-ego company. Reclaim Video is a creative release that the good folks at OER18 did not bat an eye about incorporating into their proceedings—and that’s open education in action! To quote Yo La Tengo: “It’s a waste of time if I can’t smile easily.” Smiling at Reclaim Hosting (and now Reclaim Video) has not been an issue these last 4 years or so—and cultivating that fact should not be an afterthought to any venture

The Reclaim Video website designed by Michael Branson Smith

Oh yeah, we also launched an inspired website that will be a central node of Reclaim Video that Michel Branson Smith brilliantly put together for us. But I am saving that for my next post, cause the website is going to be an ongoing, evolving piece of Reclaim Video that I am very interested in taking some time and energy to think about here.

*This is a problem I have, fantasizing about the strip mall haunts of my past. Intensive therapy hasn’t helped.