Monday, December 19, 2016

radio stationary

When I replaced my car radio a couple years ago, I found the new device allowed me to pick 18 FM stations. What was I to do with so many stations? I'd had the old one fitted with the various frequencies of the local classical station (it doesn't own a powerful signal, so it's acquired various smaller-wattage transmitters in different places), and filled it out with the local NPR station plus a few classic rock or adult contemporary stations that I thought I might listen to for a break.

But it turns out that I never do. The last time I deliberately turned on a pop music station was 1985, and the first time was 1981; my knowledge of top-40 songs as a group is consequently limited to the intervening period. (I had an interesting time a few years ago looking up on YouTube the often-amusing music videos for songs like "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Down Under", none of which I saw when they were new, because all I had was a radio, not MTV.) I actually do listen to a fair amount of popular music, but what I want to listen to and what radio stations want to play do not often mesh, which is why after a brief period of occasional meshing I gave up in 1985. So on radio I stick to classical, where, the execrable Doug Pledger having mercifully long since passed on, the meshing is usually pretty good.

When I go on a trip, I use this site to locate the classical stations and memorize or jot down their frequencies; but I recently realized that I have enough informational space on my own radio to keep the ones I'll be encountering that way. On my last couple of trips I set the buttons ad hoc beforehand, and now I've decided to make it systematic. Between the various frequencies of KDFC in the Bay Area and KUSC in SoCal and CapRadio in the Valley and Jefferson Public Radio up north, I have coverage of most of where I'm likely to drive to, and enough stations to fill my dial. And I'm keeping a little card in my glove compartment to help me remember what I've put where.

As for the 6 settings for AM, I'm stuck. There's one all-news station that I turn to when I'm on the road when a major earthquake strikes (which last happened in 1989) or for real-time traffic updates (which, not being a commuter, I need almost as infrequently), but otherwise there's nothing on AM I remotely want to listen to.

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