We here at Heathen Central enjoy the gadgets, the toys, the geegaws, the technological marvels. We have several computers, half a dozen dead PDAs, two iPods, a Tivo, three kinds of wireless phones, and a device devoted to the deep-frying of WHOLE LIVE GOATS. You know the drill; certain Other Household Members have even opined — blasphemy! — that we should get rid of some of this crap, but so far we’ve kept it all safe.
This is all a long way of saying that it took us COMPLETELY BY SURPRISE that this Other Household Member insisted this morning that we procure, with all speed, another gadget: an XM satellite radio. Why, you ask? Well, because NPR-exile Bob Edwards is getting a show set to run against Morning Edition (delicious!), and we miss him.
‘Nuff said; off we went to the local non-asshole retailer where we bought one of these (~ $140 walking out the door). This particular device is a fine choice for flexibility as well; right out of the box, it’s ready to use in the car (via an FM transmitter), but a home kit is available (free for now) that includes the bits you need to hook it directly to your home stereo (really just another antenna, a 6V power adapter, and a mini-to-RCA cable; it’s got normal jacks for power and line-out). Service is a reasonable $9 a month.
We’ve only have it an hour or so, but already we’ve heard more cool shit than you’ll get in six months from any dozen Clear Channel stations. The X-Country channel is particularly fine, free as it is of Nashville taint — think Gourds, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Dylan, and Joe Ely, all of which have been played in the last 15 minutes. It probably doesn’t hurt that this channel is hosted by the Last of the Full Grown Men, the Idol of Idle Youth, Webb Wilder, either. And this is just ONE channel of 68 or so available, virtually none of which play the pablum that now dominates the FM dial (unless you live in range of KGSR). We’re actually looking forward to our next long car trip; anybody who spends any time in the car needs one of these things. Seriously.
(We were just kidding about the goats.)