Sunday, December 30, 2007

Radiohead technician

Merry whatever and happy likewise!

Christmas has come and gone. December was as always the shortest month of them all...3 weeks passing like a runaway freight train. Food was great, gifts were good, company was laid back and soothed a weary mind, tired of repetitive labour.

My brother and I managed to gift-cross each other with Gibson's new 'Spook Country' which I am now enjoying. Gibson has a special gift with urban and trendish settings, expanding the vocabulary of literature through lifestyle observations. Sometimes he gets a bit too poetic but it's ok - and actually more easily deciphered in his recent 'scifi-now' novels.

A lengthy mention goes to my immense accomplishment today - I managed to get my car stereo to work! This project has been haunting me and my car for 2-3 months now. Facts are, I bought a budget car radio to replace the one that was wrecked when our car was stolen last year. Ever the wanna-be handyman, I have also bought a Saab 9000 Haynes manual and expected the replacement of a stereo to be a walkover. But, it soon turned awkward because the new stereo did not come with a simple ISO connector - and even if it had, the old car stereo was itself a replacement during which the former handyman had opted to snippet ALL the in-bound wires and attach them to the old stereo through tiny, singular screw couplings.

So, I needed to attach 13-14 wires which was only possible after I had dislodged the entire glove compartment so I could get my hand in from behind to fixate the wires properly. On top of this, old Swedish Saab engineers seem to have been less rigorous with the colouring of wires than might be expected - I was juggling 3 different reds, 2 different greens and 2 different white-browns, constantly hoping that I would hit the right match to the stereo wires. I half expected the entire fusebox to blow up whenever I went out to reconnect the battery for testing. Testing in itself became a pain, because 3x2x2 gives 12 different combinations, 11 of which are unforgivingly wrong.

Since this all took forever, and my weekends were mostly booked for other things during the daytime, and the Danish winter dusk made it even more difficult to see wire colours, the project just dragged on and on. If I wasn't having a fit of rage the umpteenth time a test didn't even let out a single sound from the speakers, I was usually procrastinating, trying not to think about it. Stubbornly getting my music needs fulfilled through my portable MP3 player instead. Really a sad story of a frightened academic lost in the woods.

Then yesterday, I gave it another go without any luck. This morning I had a thought about switching two specific wires, and I decided on one last try. It worked. It must have been the single most uplifting moment since I was contacted on my job applications. But all things considered, I think I am better off earning money to pay people to do that! It just does not interest me enough, I'm afraid.
I will, however, try to install a new automatic aerial - once my handyman anxiety has subsided a bit.

New Year's Eve? A night with the neighbours, celebrating mostly through tonnes of food. This might have a chance of getting some airplay in the background. :)

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