When it came time for me to start looking for a new vehicle, I had a few deal-breakers, including leather seats, audio jacks, automatic locks, and something I could put a remote starter in.

After looking at the price tags for such fineries, I gave up on leather seats as a non-negotiable.  But dad-gum it, I was going to hang on to having an audio jack like Grim Death.  Little did I realize that in the time from when my old car was built to when I was looking, audio jacks were, like, standard issue, man.

The back-story on the audio jack is thus: I used to be a long-time listener of Opie and Anthony (started when I was in high school), and were thrilled when they finally got a contract on terrestrial radio again.  A few months thereafter, that contract got canceled, so I switched over the local Morning Zoo show, got sick of that sycophantic crap, and made decent use of my Zune and started listening to podcasts. (Side note: I recently checked back into the morning zoo show I used to listen to, and it was like I had never left.  It’s like there’s a formula for that crap!)

I love podcasts for a few reasons: I get to listen to exactly what I want, I get to listen uninterrupted by commercials, and most of the time, I get to learn something.

Here’s currently my list of podcasts.  I pick them up from Zune.  If you listen to them using an Apple product: you’ll have to find them on iTunes.

  • Extra Hot Great: I found them through NPR Culturetopia’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.  I love this podcast: I get to listen to fun, snarky reviews of pop culture everything, without actually having to watch it myself.
  • Get it Done Guy: As a productivity nerd, I love Stever’s podcast.
  • Girlfriend M.D.: I tend to listen to these in clumps.  It’s not my first pick when I have a list of podcasts, but I like them, and they’re informative.
  • Judge John Hodgeman: This is one that I am brand new to, which I heard through Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.  I like John Hodgman: he’s smart, witty, and subtle.
  • Modern Manners Guy: Another podcast that I listen to in clumps.  They’ve been through a few hosts.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour, from NPR’s Culturetopia: the source for Extra Hot Great, a more PC version, covering slightly different topics.  I love the chemistry of this group, too.
  • Radio Free Burrito: from Wil Wheaton.   Not updated more than 8 times a year, but always a treat when it is.  I find Wil’s Tumblr and blog to be too political for me, but the podcast is fine.
  • Stuff Mom Never Told You: A solid podcast from Stuff You Should Know.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class: Like the title said, it’s like “the rest of the story” for the history classes you kind of paid attention to in school.
  • Stuff You Should Know Podcast: For a while, I was listening to SYSK exclusively, going through all of the back-logged episodes.  The podcasts are always interesting, even if the topic seems boring, and I think the hosts, Chuck and Josh, have great chemistry.
  • The House Call Doctor: Another podcast I listen to in clumps.  Good information to know, especially when WebMD fails you.
  • The Nerdist: This is a new podcast for me, and I’m not a G4 nerd, so I don’t catch too much Chris Hardwick on TV, but I really like the guests he seems to grab.  And the Anamanaguchi opening credit music is pretty awesome.
  • The Public Speaker: This podcast is so, so helpful.  It’s part of the reason why I’ve been able to nail the presentations I’ve given in both work and school.
  • This American Life: Standard nerd faire.  I mostly listen to this at work.
  • WTF with Marc Maron: This was a reccomendation from the Zune marketplace.  I got on this podcast from episode 1 – the only time I’ve ever gotten in on anything on the ground floor (except maybe also Justified).  It’s been a fun ride watching it grow and see Marc Maron have a revival.

November 29, 2010

The DadZ and I went out to buy a new battery for my car.

$81 later, I have a car that I’m not terrified I will be stranded in.

However, I had wrongly hoped for a miracle: that the leak in the oil would stop, that I didn’t have to have my radio volume at an obscene level just to hear it over the noise of the car moving.

Le sigh.

Of course I am grateful.  At least I don’t have to go looking for a car desperate and hungry.  There is nothing less comfortable that knowing someone has got you by the stones and you have no choice but to smile and ask for more.

November 28, 2010

There have been a few things that I have missed about having a computer at home, but I’ve been able to make do with occasionally using my mother’s laptop and being able to do some things on my off-hours at work. So, I’ve been making it through pretty well.

However, having an iffy car is a whole other ball of wax. Not being able to surf the internet at night is a lot different that getting stranded in a downtown parking lot.

I think it knows that I’m going car shopping on Saturday. For a while, when it’s been very cold out, it’s been sluggish to start, so I’m pretty sure it’s a battery issue. But really, who the heck wants to drop a brand-new battery into a car you’re going to trade in within two weeks?

My mother was gracious enough to let me park in her spot in the garage and let me drive her car downtown to CSU for the week, so I feel pretty positive that I won’t be stranded anywhere if the battery finally decides to give up the ghost.

In addition to the battery issue, the cover to the passenger-side window controls refuses to stay on. In addition to the other sundry issues I’ve dealt with on this car, I can’t say as I’m sad to see it go.