In addition to purging my dependence on the TV (which backslid a little when I had nothing to do but listen to the TV when I had LASIK), I also made a concerted effort to whittle down my general media intake.
The first thing I did was ditch the Zany Morning Radio Show local to Cleveland (good riddance), and started listening mostly to podcasts (including Radio Free Burrito care of Wil Wheaton, WTFPod by comedian Marc Maron, and a lot of NPR and NPR-affiliate podcasts).
Podcasts-mostly has expanded to now audiobooks-mostly, given that I don’t have a lot of free time to read, and I spend plenty of useable time in the car to-and-from work, Berea, and school to listen to them.
My car, however, was manufactured in 2003, before the personal mp3 player/cell phone/what-have-you became the ubiquitous device for delivering media and car radios came with an audio jack standard. I had a tape deck, and used that wonderful device you remember from the 90s when hooking up your compact CD player into your car – the casette adapter.
With my little cassette adapter that could, life was pretty good: the sound quality was a lot better than the transmitter (the internal antenna in my car eats it), and I wasn’t breaking any laws by driving with headphone on (yes, Virginia, it is against the law to drive with headphones on).
Everything was great, that is, until my tape deck befell the ill that happened with every tape deck in cars that was used with frequency: it ate and refused to read my cassette adapter. E tu, Hyndai?
To me, going without the ability to play my Zune through the radio of my car is just not an option. I can go without pedicures, I can eschew new shoes for taking care of the ones I have now, I can avoid going out to eat for lunch, but I cannot go without a radio in my car.
In the grand scheme of things, I had been kicking around the idea of buying a new radio for the car, but I always figured I could make do until I bought a new car. Besides the expense, the other issue I balked on was that I’m pretty conservative (well, my car is pretty conservative), and all of the after-market radios are just a little bit flashy. When I priced some out at the company that’s doing the install, they did have one with pink lights (but that’s a little too much pink, even for me).
In the end, I settled for one by Pioneer, which is a company I used in the past to install a CD player in my old car, and I’m happy with the brand. It’s being installed on Wednesday.
And to be honest, despite my initial horror at having to replace my car radio, I’m pretty excited for my new toy.