Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sirius, I Seriously Need You

While at work clearing out and updating a retired emeritus' office, I knew I could use some noise to keep me entertained. I brought in a boombox the department had stored and tuned to some local stations. I went about my work and soon realized I was annoyed: nothing but commercials. I really don't care about the quality of girls at Deja Vu Gentleman's Club nor do I have a drinking problem, thus needing the Alcohol Rehabilitation business advertised. No music? I changed stations: more ads, more "wacky" disc jockeys with the lame gags. Finally, some 15 year old Sade tune. But after that, more ads. This got me missing my usual fix for talk radio or music, in the car or at home, always at my fingertips.

Back on January 8th, 2006 on a cold, dreary Sunday in Iowa City, I drove to my nearby Radio Shack and made a big purchase. I bought a Sirius Satellite boom box and car installation package along with a one year subscription. I spent the rest of the day unpacking the boxes, patiently waiting on hold to get my system set up. There was a backlog and I knew why. On Monday, January 9th Howard Stern would begin airing his show exclusively on Sirius Satellite radio. I had not been able to listen to Howard in over 5 years - since moving back to the Midwest and I missed him. Desperately. Seriously.

I got the hardware functioning Sunday night and set my clock for 4:58am. Why? Because Howard's east coast show would begin at 5 am my time and I wasn't going to miss a minute. I woke up that Monday morning and listened to the constantly pounding heartbeat sound that had been playing in anticipation of HS's show. And then finally! There it was! That low, semi-nasally voice! True to form, Howard was complaining about his staff and technical glitches in his studio within the first 10 minutes. Just like he did all those years earlier. I was happy and satisfied.

I pay roughly $13 a month for my Sirius Satellite subscription. (I would pay more - shhh!). In addition to Howard's two channels (his show does have some ads, so if they start, I just switch to the other Howard channel for that replay since they loop his daily show all day), I get access to over 150 music, news and comedy channels. There's First Wave the new wave music channel that I know almost every song on. There's Backspin playing some funk, the Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra-only channels. And then there's Sirius Love always good for a sappy love song and where I am most likely to hear my beloved Air Supply. To me, those channels are all free and I pay for my Howard fix - the serious Sirius addict that I am.

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