my life is a comedy

I decided to get rzr_grl a car stereo for Christmas. The stereo in her car only has cassette, and as far as I can tell, she only owns one cassette (Best of Prince or something. Nothing against the Purple Doily mind you, but really.) So I ordered one that plays MP3 CDRs; I have one in my car, and it's just great.

I ordered it in early December, and when she left to go visit her family last week, I finally mailed the online store to find out where the hell it was. "Oh, we'll be shipping those out some time in January." Nice. So I canceled the order, and bought one in person, two hours later. (Aren't we in the future yet?)

Fortunately, she had decided to leave her car and car keys at my house without me having to concoct some reason that I should have a copy of the keys!

So I patched together the proper cable and installed it in her car (even running a power line through the firewall to the battery, because try though I might, I couldn't talk myself into ignoring the manual's admonition not to use the power available behind the dash.)

However, as I mentioned in the subject, my life is a comedy. I've known this for some time, I've come to expect it, and sometimes, I try to intervene before the rules of dramatic structure take things in a direction I don't want them to go.

So I didn't actually install the stereo in the car the day after she left: I got it hooked up and saw it work, then I took it inside, planning on installing it on the afternoon before she came back into town. Why? Because it would have been really funny if I were to install this stereo, and then it got stolen while sitting in the car for five days before she even got to see it. That would have been hilarious, and so it was, of course, inevitable.

So last night, I made the trip out to feed her cat. It was wet and cold out, so I decided to take my car instead of bicycling, because I'm a lazy fatass.

    Wait for it...

Yes, my stereo was stolen, some time after I dropped her off at the airport.

Same stereo. Different car.

The hand of fate will not be thwarted.


So today I finished installing her stereo, and picked her up at the airport in my car. We made it all the way home before she noticed that my car had a gaping hole where the stereo should be! "Um, where's your stereo?" she asked. "Yeah, Merry Fucking Christmas. Apparently I gave it to some crackhead."

So we stopped off at my place, and then went over to her place in her car to feed the cat again. This time she noticed the blank plate in the car right away! She looked at it with horror, then realized it was flat, not a hole, then looked confusedly at me, and I handed her the faceplate (with a little duct tape bow and everything.)

    "Wow!" she said. She looked at it. "Is this the same kind of stereo as yours?"


    Pause. "Is this your stereo?"

    "No, that part was true!"

Then her car wouldn't start.


(Well, it did eventually. But clearly that was the end of the chapter.)

Tags: , ,

13 Responses:

  1. owen says:

    Wow, your life IS a comedy!

    Thanks for letting me laugh at your misfortune. That made my morning :) Strange coincidence too, as I just bought a stereo like that for MY car. It hasn't been stolen yet though.

  2. insomnia says:

    The MP3 CDR stereos are nice, but the problem is, you have to actually burn the CDRs and you don't have immediate access to anything you might want to listen to. They also attract theft, of course...

    What my wife and I do is we each have a Rio Riot with 20 GB of capacity (~4000 songs) and about a 12 hour battery capacity. We use a cassette adaptor to play through the stereo. If I want to hear something, I can instantly select any genre of music I want, create my own playlists, play just a particular band or album, or even let the thing DJ for me, either randomly or apparently based on what I like to hear the most. Very cool indeed! Best of all, there is even Linux support, albeit unofficial Linux support. Total price tag? About $230.

    The iPod is probably a bit more elegant and faster, as it supports firewire. It also has homegrown Linux support, but it costs about twice as much for a player with similar specs.

    The iPod has a few advantages, however. You can get a cigarette lighter adaptor to power it -- technically, you can do the same with the Rio Riot, but they haven't released their own adaptor, so you might have to try to find one somewhere with the right power output. It's probably more amenable to selecting music to listen to while driving, too, as it's smaller and more geared towards controlling with a single hand. I've seen my wife select music for the Rio Riot on the highway... it's a scary process best reserved for red lights.

    Alternately, if you think that all sounds like too many wires, you can get a FM modulator to listen to mobile players via the car's radio, or even buy something like the NeoCar Jukebox, which runs up to 80GB in capacity and can be stored in your car's trunk.

    What you *really* need, of course, is a device that sits in the trunk of your car that wirelessly connects to and downloads additions to your home collection of music when parked within signal range. It would be programmable through your car stereo, and would have options available for webcasting and pirate radio mode.

    When you've built it, let me know.

  3. baconmonkey says:

    you need to install a stereo on your bike.

  4. msjen says:

    boy, your misfortunes *are* funny!

  5. jcurious says:

    ipod and car amp with line in is my solution.. (own a jeep).. if the amp gets stolen.. just buy a new one from a pawn dealer or something..

    • jorm says:

      My friend told me about a thing called a "transPod" that you plug your iPod into and then it broadcasts on a short-range FM band - which your car stereo picks up.

      I want to pick one up, but was only able to find one online at their store.

  6. reify says:

    I sympathize with your 'life as comedy' problem. I've had the same thing going on for some time; one of my friends called it "the perversity of the universe tending towards a maximum". It mostly involves my computer and car breaking exactly when most needed. Most recent episode involved about four months and a couple grand of car repairs to get my 3000GT fully functional. Of course, the day I finally picked it up from the shop, the alarm system went into 'bad touch' mode and i had to drive it right back to the shop at 120 dB.

    My solution was to buy another car dirt cheap and drive it around to act as a decoy for the infernal powers conspiring against me and my hardware. I went a whole month without the 3000GT breaking again, as long as it never left the driveway.

  7. *giggle* I mean, Oh, suck.

  8. sarilion says:

    why not provide us with the maker and model of the headunit? I use the Alpine 7894, and I'd love to hear what you burn MP3 CD's with. I've been using Nero, but it fucks up the order of my tracks / folders no matter how I try and arrange them.

    • jwz says:

      Hers is a 7894; mine was a 7897 (identical but with stealth-face instead of removable-face.) I burn CDs with mkisofs/cdrecord, because I'm hardc0re like that yo. My files sort properly because they're all named in the form band_name/album_name/NN_song_name.mp3 in accordance with prophecy.

      • sarilion says:

        eh, I haven't turned on my redhat box since I lost my job, I never tried to make the cd burner work with it. I name my files using the same structure, I'm guessing it's purely Nero's error(s).