Saturday, June 18, 2011

Come to think of it, there are no problems when Katy Perry's Extra-Terrestrial is on...

You know how you have those little things that you should get fixed, but don't? Just something small and annoying, but you can deal with it, so you just let it slide? I have a couple things around the house like that, including the caulking around our sliding glass door that I think is letting ants in, and the weed whacker missing a bolt which makes it impossible for me to start. But the main thing that doesn't work right? My car radio.

More specifically, it's my husband's car radio. I drive the car most often, because it gets better gas mileage. However, it's his car and his radio. You see, I may have mentioned before that he is...frugal. So when he decided he was going to buy a car to replace the pickup truck that he sold, he put on his negotiating face and went to the dealership with the newspaper. There was a stripped down version of the car he wanted, for the cheapest price advertised, and that was what he wanted. The only problem? The car didn't come with a radio. So he harassed the salesman to put a radio in the car. Now, I didn't expect to get some sort of stellar sound system, but I didn't expect what I got.

At first, it was just the odd anomaly. Once in a while, the radio would turn itself up. Self-adjusting volume was...interesting. I usually have the volume between 5 and 7, and it would turn itself up to about 17 or 19. My daughter was not fond of this. The clock would lose a minute or two a week, making me cut it a little close on getting to work. But these were just intermittent annoyances.

Next, the display started acting up. It wasn't that some of the LEDs stopped working. It was like aliens were taking over the radio - strange symbols would appear and then the screen would go blank. I tried to take pictures of it, but a) it would mostly only happen when I was driving, and I'm not very steady at taking pictures while the car is moving, and b) if I could take a steady picture, the alien symbols would disappear when I pulled out the phone's camera.

The latest problem, which makes me think the aliens have actually taken control of the radio, is that the preset buttons rarely take the radio to the station I select. I leave for work between 6:15 and 6:20, and right around that time, every radio station in my area seems to go to commercial. So I try to find some music, and start hitting buttons. Preset 2 will give me preset 3. Preset 4 or 5 sometimes adjust the volume all the way down. Preset 5 will let me adjust the equalizer. Preset 6 will give me preset 6, but then all the other presets will only lead to preset 6. Apparently, the aliens really like pop music. But only the totally pop music station, because the crossover type pop station will almost never show up. And commercials. They like commercials too.

(We just took a trip to Chicago, and I got 5 days of the blessed relief of picking one station [93 - WXRT] and sticking with it. They play the best music, so there's no need to change the station)

As an added bonus, it plays CDs just fine when my husband drives, but every CD I've put in just generates an error message. Theoretically, you could hook up an MP3 player to it, but I am afraid of what would happen if I tried it.

I could have had this fixed or replaced, if I had followed up on it when it first started happening. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get that done. So now, we have a very strange radio. And since it mostly behaves when my husband drives, he thinks it's hilarious that the aliens only want to talk to me!


  1. That car salesman obviously took a broken one that had been removed from someone else's car (obviously after the aliens had driven them crazy) and put it in your husband's car!

  2. Groan. . .

    "Honey, the car isn't properly shifting into first. It sticks between first and second"

    It doesn't do that for me?

    "Well, I drive the car more than you, and I'm telling you, it isn't shifting properly. We need to get it looked at"

    Alright, alright, when I have a moment.

    6 months pass.

    "Honey, I'm on the freeway in an intersection. The car won't shift out of neutral into any gear at all. I've called a tow truck. Would you meet me at the dealership to come and get me?"

    When did that start?

    (bang head on steering wheel)

    The dealership called. Clutch plate was broken. We put a new clutch in the car.

    I feel your pain!

  3. You have lost the lovin' feeling, baby! That's what the radio squawks when you try to put in those CDs.

    Have you attempted psychological warfare with the controls on the radio? That could be interesting.

    I read a 'fix' post on BabySmiling's blog too....the prompt-ly is working!

    I say, take the car and get the radio replaced. Buy a better one.

    The salesman just smartened coz he felt haggled for the radio that was not initially in the plan. That could be a reason why he ladled you with such a radio.

  4. So here you are, one of the first people in the world who aliens have chosen as their contact, and you want to change your radio just so you have something to sing along to in the car?


  5. I think your husband should be worried. The aliens like you, not him, so where will that leave him when the invasion happens?!? That's right: the anal probe.

    (I had the same problem, so I got my husband a new radio for his birthday. Didn't cost all that much and isn't possessed!)

  6. Oh man this made me giggle--but I AM sorry for the aliens taking over your car radio :)

  7. What a story! You must feel so special. I wonder what the aliens are trying to say to you. Maybe a simple commentary on your taste in music.

    Funny story, though!

  8. Does it make me messed up if I get all jealous and stuff that the aliens have reached out to you. Once, as a kid, i went out with a very long homemade aluminum rod. You know, like a calling device. Sadly, it didn't work.

    Oh man, I had the loveliest *gag* Dodge Intrepid for the longest time and after about a year, one of the buttons stuck. Unfortunately, it was on the one preset my mom insisted on programming in my car- the Korean AM radio station here in LA. I guess I could look on the bright side by saying my Korean improved greatly.

  9. Just curious...what happened to the car radio since then?

    You got it out for good?