Road Trip Revelations

sign 4My job sometimes requires me to spend a lot of my day in the car. I don’t mind too much. It gives me time to think, reflect on my life and most importantly listen to great music. On these trips I sit back, relax and turn up the tunes. After many hours alone in the car though, I tend to have quite a few random and moronic thoughts. These are just a few of the revelations I came away with on the road.

This is your brain on Sirius Radio.

I’ve written many times on this blog about my love of satellite radio. As mentioned above, I drive a lot so many days the only thing holding me back from full on road rage is the wide range of content available to me on my Sirius Stiletto. I’ve always considered it a wonderful perk to have in my work car and it wasn’t until recently that I realized my total dependence on it.

cheeseOver the years my satellite system has been very durable and I’ve had very few problems with it. All was good until a few days ago when I got into my car for a rousing 4 hour drive through the cheese fields of Wisconsin. That’s a little known fact right there. In Wisconsin, cheese is grown in fields. As you drive through certain parts of the state you’ll see vast landscapes of sharp cheddar, pepper jack and smoked gouda all growing in curd, block, and wheel form. Children try to catch summer sausage and bratwurst in rivers of nacho cheese warmed to a perfect fondue serving temperature by natural hot springs. It’s all very impressive. So is the smell. Wow! The whole state smells like a foot.

Anyway, when I turned on my radio the other day, the display read “No Antenna Detected.” I immediately got out of the car to check on the magnetic antenna stuck to the roof. When I pried the magnet free, the wire that ran into the car broke right off. Panic swept through my body. I was faced with the daunting task of a long drive with no satellite radio. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Oldies, not so oldies, sports, news, sports news, Howard Stern, Playboy radio! All that beautiful content was gone. What was I supposed to do? Listen to (shudder) regular radio? 4 hours of switching from one awful station to the next? Suffering through 10 minutes of commercials for every 5 minutes of content? Not this guy.

bingoAt that point I felt like I only had 3 options:

  1. Make the drive with no radio. Sing show tunes and play car bingo with myself.
  1. Set the car on fire and tell the office I couldn’t make the drive due to major, and I mean major, car trouble.
  1. Go to the nearest truck stop and offer a handy to any trucker that would give up his satellite radio antenna.

 It didn’t take long for me to choose the obvious way out of this mess.

As I was pulling into the truck stop, the panic started to wear off. I thought to myself, “Hey you don’t have to do this. You have a job that pays you money. Money can be exchanged for goods and services. You can buy a new antenna. Or better yet, check your garage. You’ve had several satellite radios over the years. Maybe you have a spare stashed away in there.”

As luck would have it, I did have an old antenna hidden away in the back of my garage. Crisis averted. Did I learn anything from this experience? Yes I did.

  1. Always have an alternate form of audio entertainment in the event that radio quits working. I’ve since burned several CDRs full of music and stored them in my glove box for just such an emergency.
  1. Stay calm and use your head. Don’t make any rash decisions when faced with an obstacle.
  1. Truckers do not like it when you renege on a deal. Especially when it involves a handy.

Walt Disney will break your kneecaps.

Mad_Mickey_Mouse_by_sasori_my_manA week or so ago, I was on one of my road trips and my wife called me. Apparently, we received 3 letters from our internet provider threatening evil things like jail time and monetary fines because we “allegedly” downloaded some copyrighted material. She read me the file names and I had no clue what they were talking about. Based on the titles they almost sounded like some Z grade porno titles. Then I started thinking about it…I asked her to check those file names with some song titles of a rather famous Radio Disney star. Bingo. They matched up. How did they get on my computer?…

My daughter has recently become more and more interested in music. Not a surprise growing up in our house. While she is still forced to listen to my music a lot, she has developed her own musical tastes. Right now, as with most pre-tweens in this country, she is into any singer that has a hit on Radio Disney. A station that mostly plays artists that appear on Disney Channel shows or are connected to Disney in some way. A few weeks ago she heard a song by one of the artists in the Disney stable and asked me to download the album. Of course I wanted to make my daughter happy so I looked the album up on iTunes. They wanted $12.99 for it! Now that’s a lot to pay for something she’ll like for 2 months and forget about. So I “allegedly” did what all desperate music lovers do at times like these and found a delightfully free torrent for said album. My daughter was ecstatic and “allegedly” I was too having saved some scratch.

Now, if I did commit this heinous act of terrorism, it would have definitely been the one and only time ever. I’ve never scoured the internet for free torrents of tracks, albums or full artist discographies before. Every song in my library was paid for with hard earned money. Money earned with sweat, grit and good old fashioned American work ethic. So I will ask the jury to go easy on this “alleged” 1st time offender. Isn’t a child’s musical happiness more important than lining the pockets of a bloated billion dollar corporation that pimps out the pre-pubescent bodies and voices of 15 year old singers? I rest my case.

It takes every kinda people

 As always on my road trips there comes to a point were I require a jolt of energy that only some loud thunderous rock music can deliver. Today was no different. I switched the station from Howard Stern to what I thought was Hair Nation. I must have mixed up my presets because the ‘70s channel came up instead. I was about to change the station when quite possibly the most pleasant song ever recorded hit my ears. It was Robert Palmer’s “Every Kinda People.” The funky bass line, steel drums and silky vocals of Mr. Palmer took over my body. Suddenly, I was grooving along to the music and weaving from lane to lane while going 85 down the interstate.

A wave of absolute Palmer induced peace washed over me as I rocketed across the countryside. That’s a totally different feeling than the ones I had as a boy watching videos for other more well known Robert Palmer hits  like “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love.”

Well today I road those pleasant Palmer vibes all the way home.

All in all it was a pretty good trip.  Plenty of tunes.  Plenty of lawsuits. If you see me cruising down the interstate sometime, go ahead and wave. If I’m not busy stealing music, I might wave back .

If you enjoyed these moronic thoughts, there’s plenty more where those came from. Check out some of my previous “Road Trip” posts.