Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's a good thing I don't defuse bombs for a living.

Well I finally remembered what I wanted to write about yesterday, and I was right. It was good. But, it's going to have to wait for another day because I have another story to tell first, which is not as thoughtful, but I'm telling it anyway.

So for one of my classes I have to read a "context" book and talk about how it relates to library science. I decided to listen to the audiobook because I'm super busy and would rather have someone else read the book to me than use my precious free time reading it myself. I had to get it on a Playaway, which is a pre-loaded mp3 player, instead of CDs because well.... that was my only option. "That's fine," I told myself, "my FM transmitter in my car has an auxiliary input, so I can still listen on my commute." After I finally got the Playaway (it took a few weeks, apparently I'm not the only person who wants to listen to The Warmth of Other Suns), and I finally found the cable I needed to plug the Playaway into the aux input, I finally started listening to it Tuesday on the way to class.

Now, I bought my FM transmitter the same day I bought my iPod. That was well over five years ago. Since I'm pretty sure electronics age in dog years, let's just say my FM transmitter is definitely over the hill. Or I guess I should say it was over the hill. It is no more. It has ceased to be. And it was all my fault.

I've known for a while that the transmitter was on its last legs. First the display started lighting up randomly. "That's okay," I said. "I totally know where the 'lights off' button is!" Then the numbers on the display (the ones that let you know which radio station you're tuned to) started fading, eventually to the point where the numbers were no longer visible. "Oh, that's alright, as long as I never change the station, everything will be fine." I seem to talk to myself a lot in the car. I also seem to talk myself out of replacing obviously dying electronics.

So on Tuesday night after class, as I'm pulling out of the parking garage, I notice that the display light on the transmitter has turned itself on again. For some reason I have a complete brain fart and I forget which button is the "lights off" button. It's one of the round circle buttons on either side of the transmitter.... but which one? What happens if I cut the wrong wire hit the wrong button?? The pressure is building as I debate between the right button and the left button, until I'm sure the car behind me is gonna be pissed that I'm not turning, so I hit the button on the transmitter's left side. It was the wrong button. Now I'm just listening to static and bits of other radio stations.

I'm going to go ahead and blame the fact that I had had a very long day and insufficient caffeine. Because, y'all.... the buttons are labeled. One button has a little light bulb next to it and the other has a P inside a circle. Had I just looked at the damn thing instead of feeling my way towards the buttons, none of this would have happened. But, no. I was sure I could figure this out, though. What could a P in a circle mean? "Power! Just hit the button again and it'll turn back on!"


I tried hitting it over and over again, I tried holding it down, but I couldn't figure out what that button did. I've moved about five times since I bought that transmitter, so I'm sure I don't have the instruction booklet anymore. Even if I did have it, the display doesn't work anymore and I'm sure that's something I'd need after all those buttons I hit. Oh, yeah... I didn't just hit the P button. I may or may not have also hit the arrow buttons a bunch of times to change radio stations to try and figure this out. Which may or may not have been the stupidest thing I could have done, because I may or may not have already mentioned that the display doesn't work anymore. So now not only do I not know what the P button does, I also don't know what station the transmitter is tuned to.

I finally had to admit that my transmitter was dunzo. Without anything else to listen to, I turned on the radio and listened to what might be the Chicago radio version of Barney Stinson's Get Psyched mix. It was all rise. I sang my heart out to I Don't Wanna Miss A Thang by Aerosmith and some Alanis Morrisette that I was surprised to learn I still knew the words to. And when I got home, I ordered myself the cheapest replacement transmitter I could get. $11. We'll see how this works out.

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