Sunday, December 27, 2009


Once there were two satellite companies: XM and Sirius. Despite blowing through mega millions, possibly billions, they never really caught on. (Recently they merged.) This is to say that the audience of all of the Sat channels added together at any minute don't equal one NYC radio station at that same minute.

My car 'came' with a free satellite radio trial. I had to check it out. WEAK program choices, weak talent, weak imaging, poor fidelity, too many bad songs! What's the point? And you have to PAY for this?

One sidebar: the traffic in real time was helpful, or would be, if I drove more distance. Apparently the traffic reports are overlaid on the navigation map. That's cool. But I wouldn't pay for it.

There are WAY too many ROCK channels, too many RAP channels, too many TALK channels, and not nearly enough music niching. (Maybe they know how few listen.) Even so, seems there are several mainstream formats completely ignored.)

For some reason I haven't been able to fathom, the radio comes on when the car starts even though I don't want it to, and have attempted various smooth moves to defeat it. To this moment, though, the radio is winning.

However, once on, I can turn it off, and sometimes do. But the other night, while driving to a birthday dinner (mine, not the car's and certainly not XM's), with the radio off, all of a sudden there was what sounded like an electronic sneeze. "Was that you?" I asked Terri. "Not me," she said. The mystery faded into the "things you can't figure out" cloud that follows life around.

I did notice WEATHER/EMERGENCY on one of the several electro-readouts. And snow was indeed blowing blizzard conditions, but far, far north of us. I let it pass.

The next day, When I got into the car and started it, there was (finally) no radio - but there was a message on the screen... if you wish to subscribe, call this number. AHHH. The 'sneeze' was the wet goodbye.

GOODBYE XM. Goodbye, what I term, the Big Satellite Scam.

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