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Saturday, February 17, 2007

I inched a little further into the twenty-first century today, and it was all because it was the warmest day of the year. In December I got a free radio from XM. Iím already a subscriber, but I use the service only at home. I didnít really need an XM radio for my car, because I have a couple of thousand CDs that I rotate through the six-CD changer. I didnít need it, but since it was free, I decided I wanted it.

From the description on the web site, it looked as if it would be easy to install. Thatís a big thing for me, because Iím not handy with small tools and Iím totally technologically challenged. I donít know how to make things work, but I do know how to follow directions. And one of the directions on my new radio said not to install it unless the temperature was above 60ļF. That was so that the adhesive would stick, but I didnít care why. I just knew that if I didnít follow the instruction to the letter, something horrible would happen, because it always does. I donít improvise.

One Saturday in January, it was warm enough, and I gave it a shot. Nothing happened. I couldnít even get the radio to power up, and after spending the whole afternoon trying, I gave up. By that time, it had cooled off below the temperature threshold, and it never got warm enough again until today. When I got home from the post office this afternoon, it was 72ļF, so I decided to give it another shot.

This time I read the directions a little more carefully, possibly because it was warmer and I was thinking more clearly. I realized that I had left out a key step the last time I tried. I hadnít plugged the radio into a power source. Iíd stuck the antenna on the roof and strung the wire inside the door seal, but I hadnít even opened the package that had the part you plug into the cigarette lighter (which isnít a cigarette lighter any more, but just a plug).

Amazingly, everything worked. I called XM to activate the radio, and they told me to leave it on for twenty minutes, so I drove around for about that long, until all the channels were available. The sound quality was outstanding, and all the trauma of getting it set up just went away. I was fully prepared for yet another technological fiasco, but apparently sometimes things can go right in spite of me. Now I just need somewhere to go, so I can listen to the radio.

20 January 2007

Nonthreatening winter clouds.

I donít really need a new television set, either. As much as I like shiny new things, I couldnít really justify buying a new set, because the one I have works perfectly well. If I were financially ready to get an HD set, thatís what Iíd want, but I got an offer today I couldnít refuse. Some friends are, in fact, moving up to HD, and they have a big screen that they were willing to offer me for a reasonable price. So reasonable that I said Iíd take it. Itíll be a while before I get it, but youíll probably be hearing about it from me.

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