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Thursday, December 29, 2005

How about some good news for a change? (I mean, besides the fact that the water didnít get any higher today.) Itís only good news for me, so donít get excited, but my XM satellite radio arrived today. And more good news: it works!

Itís a good thing the FedEx driver didnít show up until three oíclock in the afternoon, because thatís when all work stopped. So at least I got a few hours of toil and trouble in before I had to drop everything and set up all my new equipment.

Whatís amazing to me (because it never happens (to me)) is that it all worked on the first try. Assembling the radio and installing the battery? No problem. Pointing the antenna in the right direction and getting a strong signal? Three bars (the maximum) on the first try. Getting all those channels to come in over my own stereo system? Yeah, well, once I got the connection right, it sounded pretty, pretty good.

Iím still in awe of the fact that everything that was supposed to snap together fit the way it was supposed to. I was sure I was going to snap something off or bend something backwards, the way I usually do. In fact, Iím still looking for a way to screw this up. Maybe when I try to get it to work in the car, Iíll manage to do my best at doing my worst. Nothing about how todayís first experience went gives me any reason to think that, though.

And itís not just music! There are so many news, talk and sports channels that I had to delete some of them from my tuner so that I wouldnít be scrolling all day. I like scrolling, but I like it better when I land on channels that I like to listen to. Not, in other words, Fox News or Golf Talk or the Los Angeles traffic channel. I donít even want the San Francisco traffic channel, for that matter.

But I now have 24/7 access to Air America and BBC World News and ESPN Radio, along with The Loft and The Mix and The Blend and all the other music channels (including Aguila, the Mexican music channel that was one of the Latin channels DirecTV chose not to offer its platinum subscribers, which was part of the reason I wanted to deal with XM directly in the first place).

28 December 2005

Gray/black day.

I probably shouldnít have done it. I shouldnít have spent the money and made the commitment, but I got discounts all along the way. Including the shipping: for some reason they upgraded my shipping (for which I paid nothing) so that I got it in two days. And it was already activated when I got it, so that all I had to do was go online and refresh the information. I shouldnít have done it, but when everything goes this well and this right, itís hard to keep thinking that.

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I listened to my new radio all afternoon and well into the evening. Thatís because itís new and I was playing around with all the settings and listening to the music. But itís also because I was afraid to turn it off. The battery was supposed to charge for at least three hours, and Iím pretty sure it had to be powered on for the battery to charge. (I guess I could have had it on without listening, but that seemed somehow wrong.)

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